Nova Scotia

Cape Breton fire heroes share how they rescued 5 people from 2014 blaze

Two years after they rescued several people from a burning house, two men who live in Glace Bay say they are still suffering the effects.

John Gallie, 28, and Craig Morash, 43, will be receiving medals from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission

Craig Morash, 43, and John Gallie, 28, both say they are experiencing side effects from their efforts to rescue the five other people. (Submitted by Maryann Murphy and John Gallie)

Two years after they rescued several people from a burning house, two men who live in Glace Bay say they are still suffering the effects.

Twenty-eight-year-old John Gallie and 43-year-old Craig Morash were living with five other people in a Glace Bay home when a fire started in their kitchen one night in May 2014.

Gallie saved his girlfriend, their baby and his two disabled uncles.

He says his girlfriend woke him around midnight and said she smelled smoke, so Gallie told her to get the baby and take it outside.

"By the time I went back in for [Uncle] Shawn, I got [Uncle] Kevin out first. He's the guy in the wheelchair. But when I went back in for [Uncle] Shawn, the blind guy, the smoke was like almost waist level in the kitchen, in the whole house, in the main floor," said Gallie.

Gallie was in a coma for two weeks and still suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from the event.

Morash saved his girlfriend's life, which is Gallie's mother, Maryann.

Morash says Gallie woke him up and he ran downstairs thinking Maryann was behind him.

"When I was going back across the kitchen, I heard Maryann screaming upstairs, so I went back upstairs through the smoke and flames.I found her by swinging my arms back and forth and I ran into her," said Morash.

"I got her over to where the window was and I jumped down onto the ground and then coaxed her to jump down."

Health problems

Morash has had breathing problems ever since.

"I ended up with a tracheotomy. I was in a coma for nine days. Up until two weeks ago, I got about two hours sleep a day just from nightmares and stuff," said Morash.

For their efforts, the two will be receiving medals from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, along with two men from Halifax.

The Carnegie Medal is given to between 80 and 100 people each year who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save others.

Every medal comes with a financial grant of $5,000.

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