A 34-year-old woman and her four young children, aged 12, 8, 6, and 4, were sleeping when a fire broke out in their Jamestown home.
Ryan Pasborg was running late for work on Tuesday morning as he made his way from his Green River house into town when he smelt smoke and sees flames shooting from a bedroom window.
When he did not see any emergency lights, the 32-year-old pulled into the driveway, where he observed a small girl and two boys exiting the home.
The three youngsters informed Pasborg that their mother and 4-year-old younger brother were still inside, and he immediately entered the home through the garage door and entered the kitchen.
Pasborg reported to investigators that he was unable to see anything inside due to strong smoke, so he crawled on his hands and knees for several feet into the kitchen before colliding with the youngster.
He instantly wrapped his arms around the boy’s waist and carried him outside.
With windchill temperatures well below zero, Pasborg placed all four children in his truck to keep them warm before reentering the flaming home for a second time, this time crawling through the kitchen deeper into the house in search of the missing mother of the children.
Moments afterwards, Pasborg discovered the woman on the ground, severely burned and trying to breathe. After bringing her outdoors, he observed that she was unresponsive and no longer breathing, so he began performing CPR until she drew a sudden breath.
Then, Pasborg drove the family to the end of the driveway near the highway and waited for the arrival of emergency personnel.
Deputy Sheriff Jason Mower stated that he could not recall ever witnessing such heroism and altruism as Pasborg’s, who undoubtedly saved the lives of the young mother and son.
“I believe this is the first instance in almost 15 years of law enforcement that I’ve heard of a complete stranger going above and above in a manner and in a situation that many would not have dared to confront,” Mower said…
Sheriff John Grossnickle said in a statement, “Not only is it a blessing in and of itself that Mr. Pasborg was in the right place at the right time, but his willingness without hesitation to risk his own life to help save this family was the difference between life and death for this young mother and her child; he gave them a fighting chance.”
Grossnickle stated, “There are no suitable words to describe the immensity of Ryan’s bravery; he is the epitome of what it takes to be a true hero.”
His acts speak volumes about his genuine character, and people like Ryan are a tribute to the enormous strength and power of community that we are so lucky to enjoy as friends and neighbors in Sweetwater County..
Not only did he exhibit courage, but also generosity and compassion. Later, Pasborg purchased hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothing and essentials and delivered them to the family at their grandmother’s residence.