Volunteer fire fighter Patrick Rimoshytus was due to be recognized at Tuesday night’s Warren Town Council meeting for his heroic actions last month, when he pulled a woman from a burning car following an accident on Schoolhouse Road on Wednesday, Dec. 19. Though the woman later died of her injuries at Rhode Island Hospital, Mr. Rimoshytus’s actions and those of several others, including council Cathie Tattrie, gave her a fighting chance that her daughter said will always be treasured.
“Their heroic efforts allowed us to be with our mother when she passed, a gift for which we are incredibly grateful,” KC Ferrara wrote in a letter to the Warren Times-Gazette editor.
Mr. Rimoshytus, a retired Newport fire fighter who has volunteered in Warren for years, was driving on Market Street when the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Like others, he saw smoke coming from the car owned by the woman, Carolyn Corbett of Barrington, parked his car and ran over. She was still behind the wheel.
As he approached, flames erupted from the engine and passenger compartment, and he was forced back. He returned to his car, grabbed some, but not all, of his fire gear and ran back to the car, jumping into the passenger side to pull the woman out. In the process, he burned his legs and hands. His helmet, which fell off during the rescue, stayed inside the car and was destroyed.
Ms. Corbett was taken to the hospital with extensive injuries, and Mr. Rimoshytus was admitted as well. He was released the next day.
“He did an incredible job,” said Warren Fire Chief Al Galinelli. “He happened to be at the right place at the right time, did what he was trained to do, and he did it without hesitating.”
“His actions can only be described as selfless and heroic,” added Warren Deputy Police Chief Joseph Loiselle, who saw the rescue unfold. “He took his life into his hands and got her out, at great risk.”