Madsen pulls 5 from house fire
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · May 03, 2013

A 2010 graduate of West Branch High School got five residents and himself to safety when a fire broke out Friday night in Cedar Rapids.
Jayson Madsen, 20, a community living assistant for Discovery Living, said he heard a popping noise “like hail on the roof,” went outside to check, saw the fire and ran back inside.

“He did a great job,” Discovery Living Director of Residential Services Carol Saddoris said. “He was able to keep calm and level-headed.”

Discovery Living’s clients have intellectual disabilities, she said, and the men living in that hall ranged from 20 to 37 years old.

Madsen re-entered the burning building to wake the men and get them out.

“I thought I needed to get them out,” he said. “It was the right thing to do.”

Madsen said he had been getting ready for bed at the time as he shares the residence hall with the men to care for them.

Saddoris said a Hiawatha firefighter told her Madsen got the men out even before the smoke detector went off.

The home is at 1132 White Ivy Place NE, and a press release from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department says they were alerted about 11:07 p.m. Friday.

While no cause has yet been determined, CRFD reports the fire started at the front porch light and extended to the roof. The fire spread to the fascia above a front great window, and while there was no smoke on the main floor, “parts of the ceiling collapsed in the living room” while firefighters were preparing to gain access to the roof rafters, read the release.

No one was injured, according to the CRFD, and the men have all found temporary places to stay while repairs are made.

Madsen is a son of Jeff and Cindy Madsen. At WBHS, he participated in football, wrestling, track, baseball, Bear Leadership Team and Show Choir.

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