Gainesville man pulled from fire reunites with firefighter who saved him

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The smoke was filling fast inside Ryan Freeman's Gainesville apartment Saturday morning and he had no way to get out.

He was trapped inside with a double-sided deadbolt.

“I needed my key to get out of the apartment," Freeman said. "I couldn’t find my key, I couldn’t see it -- it was dark outside still.”

Gainesville Fire-Rescue says flames were rising in an adjacent apartment. Freeman's oxygen was running out. Behind that deadbolted door he collapsed.

“I’m sitting by this door, I’m trying to breathe through a tiny crack under the door, and I was just coughing in and out…it’s kind of indescribable.”

Lying on the ground he heard people outside and sirens coming for him. He banged on the door to let them know where he was.

Firefighter Trey Beauchamp sprang into action.

"It was more of a reaction than it was anything else. I didn’t really have time to think, I just reacted," Beauchamp said.

His reaction saved Freeman's life. Beauchamp pulled him from the flames. Freeman was rushed to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Today he is fully recovered and finally had the chance to meet the man who saved his life. "The guy saved my life, and I don’t think it hits you…like he saved my life, that’s a big deal."

Beauchamp said he also found the experience rewarding. "To me, that was everything there to see him and he’s doing fine. He doesn’t have any adverse effects from it, so it was pretty awesome…greatest day of the job for sure.”

Freeman woke up just in time to call 911 thanks to his smoke detector. Gainesville Fire-Rescue reminds you just how important it is to make sure you have a working smoke detector. And if you have a double-sided deadbolt, they say to keep your indoor key inside the deadbolt in case of an emergency like this.

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