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Two Mission Viejo Teens Credited with Saving Toddler, Pets from Fire

The soon-to-be-Marines knew they had to act.

Jacob Wolf (left) and Kyle Hansen. Photo courtesy  Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.
Jacob Wolf (left) and Kyle Hansen. Photo courtesy Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System.
By Cpl. Michael Wick

Marines move towards the sounds of chaos, putting themselves at risk to help others.

Marine poolee’s Kyle Hansen and Jacob Wolf, natives of Mission Viejo, Calif., put their own lives at risk to save a toddler and pets from fire and smoke inhalation May 12.

Jacob Wolf, a 17-year old senior at Mission Viejo High School, said like any typical day, they were hanging out at his best friend Kyle Hansen’s house after school. It was there where Hansen’s mother noticed a fire in the distance.

“Kyle’s mother went outside and said she thought there was a fire because of the black smoke,” said Wolf. “So we went to the scene to check it out and make sure everything was alright.”

When they arrived at the scene, police and firefighters hadn’t come yet, so they analyzed the situation and immediately decided to go into the smoke and help whoever was in danger.

“It was pretty bad,” said Kyle Hansen, 18-year old senior at Laguna Hills High School. “The smoke was really black and my eyes were burning, but I just squinted them and kept going. That’s when I saw the child with his toy, and I grabbed him and ran him out.”

At that same time, Wolf was occupied helping evacuate a lady and her dogs.

“The closest person to me was a lady trying to evacuate her four dogs,” said Wolf. “I took action and helped her because none of the dogs had leashes, and they were running around all scared.”

First responders arrived at the scene shortly after Hansen and Wolf saved the child and the dogs, and they were told to back off from the fire for their own safety.

Hansen, who leaves for Marine Corps recruit training Aug. 4, said the Marine Corps played a huge role in his actions that day.

“I want to join the best,” said Hansen. “In order to be the best you have to be willing to rise to the challenge and step up when everyone else sits down.”

Their recruiter, Staff Sgt. Juan M. Elizondo, Recruiting Substation Mission Viejo, said they exhibited the core values of honor, courage and commitment when they took the initiative to help.

“They know what we (the recruiters) expect of them,” said Elizondo. “We expect them to have integrity and do the right thing at all times, whatever the situation may be.”

Wolf said his internal motivation was knowing his duty was to move towards uncertainty, and to make sure everyone was alright before himself.

“If I wasn’t involved with the Marine Corps, maybe I would think twice before putting myself in danger,” said Wolf. “With the motivation of the Marines, it made me want to go out, take action and make sure everything was alright.”

This story was reprinted with permission from DVIDS – Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System


Eileen G. May 20, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Good job guys way to take action rather than sit on the sidelines.
Amanda LaRosa May 20, 2014 at 10:47 AM
Well done, gentlemen.
MayMom May 20, 2014 at 01:23 PM
Good story. Finally something worth reading about.

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