Left: Karen and Preston Lindsay alerted neighbors of fire
Imagine Preston Lindsay's surprise upon returning from taking his dog Pee Wee for a walk and finding his wife, Karen, leading Dorothy Watson out of the apartment building they share with 5 other tenants at South Haven Apartments at the south edge of Minonk. Karen promptly handed Dorothy over to her husband while explaining that there was a fire in their building, and instructed him to get her to take her to safety. Knowing that there was a fire in the building and not knowing where the fire originated nor the severity, Karen reentered the building to lead a second tenant, Juanita Jacek, to safety.
Mrs. Lindsay stated that the fire started in Dorothy Lee's apartment and that by the time Karen smelled the smoke it was so thick at the end of the hallway, she couldn't see. Karen started beating on doors and yelling for people to get out. One tenant was not home. Dale Loser, another tenant, was able to get himself out of the building after being roused by Karen. Karen was unable to get to Mrs. Lee's apartment due to the volume of smoke and so Mrs. Lee had to be evacuated with assistance from emergency personnel.
Although extensive damage was done to Mrs. Lee's apartment, all occupants were led to safety. Mrs. Lee was taken to the hospital. All apartments in the unit have been evacuated until further notice.
The fact that Karen Lindsay is considered handicapped by her deafness, made her actions even more heroic. She could not hear the alarms, but she could smell the smoke. She pounded on doors not knowing if anyone was home, if they had heard her, or if they were calling for help. To reenter the burning building took the courage of a real heroine.