Charleston FD Capt. Ryan Delk

Leroy Burnell photo

Excerpts from the

Latoya Riley who lives in Charleston, SC was recently preparing pork chops for dinner when the grease she was heating up caught fire. She quickly moved the pan to the sink, burning her hands in the process. When water hit the grease, flames shot up.

She called 911 and the Charleston Fire Department showed up right away.  Captain Ryan Delk said the firefighters were in the middle of making their own dinner when they got the call.

Riley waited outside for her mother to pick her up and take her to the hospital for the burn wounds on her hands.

After the smoke cleared, Captain Delk noticed something was baking in the oven. He took it out, then decided to grab a new pan and finish frying the pork chops. He put the meal on the table for the kids and even cleaned up the kitchen afterwards.  

“She had two small children, so I didn’t want them to have to wait until 10 or 11 o’clock to eat supper,” he said.

The city of Charleston’s Customer Service Initiative Committee heard the story and recognized Delk’s kindness last month with a quarterly customer service award. 

“In this line of work, you have to be a people-person,” Delk said. “It’s not just spraying water on a fire.”

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