Winnebago grandmother says fireman saved not only her and her dog’s life but dinner too


WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WTVO) – A Village of Winnebago grandmother thanks first responders who saved her during a gas leak. Not only did they rescue her, but one firefighter even saved her dinner.

We spoke with the grateful homeowner who says this is one celebration her family won’t soon forget.

Sandy Schmoyer was home alone when she noticed a gas leak from her stove. Winnebago County first responders went the extra mile to save her grandson’s birthday dinner.

“I think my family would have come home and I wouldn’t have been here,” said Schmoyer.

Schmoyer has an autoimmune disorder that makes it difficult to walk. She describes the moments when she noticed a gas leak coming from the oven:

“It was just emitting gas terribly so it was in the house totally and I was kinda napping in my chair waiting for it to cook and when I woke I though ‘Oh we got a problem,'” she said.

Schmoyer called 911 and says just minutes later, she and her dog Andy were rescued from her home.

“He walked me out very carefully and he’s a big guy, which was a good thing. So he walked me out and says, ‘Just hold onto me and we’ll get down the steps now. Can you do the step okay?’ And I said yeah,'” Schmoyer explained.

“Then he took my wheelchair out and set it in the yard and put me in the wheelchair and put me in the shade so I wasn’t too hot.”

What happened next, Schmoyer says, shocked her.

“He comes running out and says ‘Do you want me to turn off your crockpot so your cheesy potatoes don’t burn?’ I thought, ‘He knows cheesy potatoes, he must be midwest,'” she laughed.

“I thought to myself what a sweet thing to do though – you know – to be that concerned for somebody, and they did. Everything was very personal.”

Now she says she wants the firemen to know how much she appreciates all they did for her.

“I just really appreciated the fact that our small little town here – Winnebago, has such good service and the guys are all so personable and caring. Every last one of them was that way,” she added.

Win-Bur-Sew Fire Chief David Loria tells us they do what they always do and just try to meet the needs of the people. For Schmoyer, that also meant saving the potatoes.

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