Written by John Plestina
The first half of Monday might have been an ordinary work day for Cody McGill, except that he works for Gysler Furniture and Appliance.
McGill, 24, was at work in Gysler’s west building at the corner of Anaconda Street and Second Avenue South when the fire started that ultimately destroyed both of the furniture store’s adjoining buildings.
He declined to acknowledge hero status despite saving two lives, one a customer and the other a coworker, before fleeing the rapidly-spreading fire.
“I’m not a hero. I was in the right place and I did what anyone else would have done,” McGill said.
“Smoke was coming through the store and I took the hand of the customer and led her out,” he said.
Then, he went back into the building and asked someone else who was still in the store where a female coworker was. Learning that she might have been in the basement, he went downstairs searching for her.
“I went down and I ran her out,” McGill said.
“That was really it. It happened really fast and there really isn’t anything else to tell,” he said.
The fire caused the collapse of the west building where McGill led two people out of within about a half hour of starting. It spread into the east building (white building) and collapsed it. Smoldering rubble was all that remained of both buildings by 5:30 p.m. as firefighters continued to monitor the ruins.
“It was really unfortunate,” McGill said.
As of presstime Tuesday morning, McGill said he didn’t know if he would have a job.