Fire captain disciplined after trying to save elderly woman from blaze

Capt. Daniel Dwyer, a 17-year-veteran of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, went into a burning home to save a 95-year-old woman. He was suspended for going in without a crew.
Capt. Daniel Dwyer entered a home to rescue a woman trapped in Atlanta on June 28, 2019,
Capt. Daniel Dwyer entered a home to rescue a woman trapped inside in Atlanta in June 2019.Atlanta Fire Rescue Department

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By Minyvonne Burke

When a call came in to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department about a fire at a home, fire Capt. Daniel Dwyer went to the address and ventured inside to rescue an elderly woman.

Dwyer, a 17-year veteran, was able to get Sally Skrine, 95, out of the home, but she later died at the scene from her injuries, fire department spokesman Cortez Stafford told NBC News. Officials believe the inferno in June 2019 started on the kitchen stove.

The firefighter's decision to enter the home alone, however, violated a work rule, according to the department. Dwyer was suspended without pay for two days, Stafford said.

A "notice of final adverse action" complaint was issued against him last week, according to NBC affiliate WXIA in Atlanta.

"You entered the structure without your crew members which is in immediate conflict with no freelancing, accountability and maintaining crew integrity," the complaint states, the outlet reported.

Dwyer is appealing the decision, according to WXIA.

Fire Chief Randall Slaughter said in a statement that the department's disciplinary process "is designed to encourage safety and order" and "seeks to establish clear expectations in both emergency and non-emergency situations."

"At this time it would be inappropriate to discuss individual disciplinary cases that have not been totally resolved," he said. "The City of Atlanta has a process in place where each employee is afforded the opportunity to appeal proposed adverse disciplinary actions with the Civil Service Review Board. “

The Atlanta Professional Firefighters Local 134, which represents over 600 firefighters and paramedics in the city, commented on Dwyer's suspension on Facebook.

"Tragic event when a firefighter upholds his oath to risk his life for a citizen he has never met. The passing of Ms. Sallie is heartbreaking. Our hearts go out to her family and community," the statement read. "We can promise the Citizens of Atlanta we will always come for you."