Woman meets phone operator who helped save her life

Fire victim thanks ADT operator
Gerry Malone hugs Cherry Smith, the ADT operator who helped save her during a fire.

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WICHITA, Kansas — In the wee hours of April 23rd, Gerry Malone went to bed.

So, she was sound asleep when she was awakened by her smoke alarm.

“So, I got out of bed wondering how I’m going to shut the alarm off and then the phone rang and you heard the call,” explains Gerry.

The call was Cherry Smith with ADT telling Gerry her house was on fire.

Gerry says in disbelief she had to check for herself.

“My house is on fire!”

“OK hang up the phone, I’m going to call 911 right now. I’ll call the fire department,” said a calm ADT operator.

Gerry gathered her things and headed for the door.

“Went down the spiral staircase, opened the door and as soon as I opened the door, the oxygen, I turned around, and you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face,” says Gerry.

When she got outside she heard firefighters on the way, who went on to save Gerry’s home.

On Thursday, ADT recognized their operator Cherry and those first responders.

“I think I would have never wakened, I would have been one of those sad stories you know, older lady dies in her house. Oh crap – doesn’t that sound like an awful thing to have happen?” reflects Gerry.

It’s safe to say Gerry and Cherry now share a special bond.

“I have a new friend I think. She’s a lovely young woman. She’s a lifesaver too, just like the firefighters,” smiles Gerry.

“Words cannot explain, you know, to actually meet the person that you talked to and knowing you are part of the team that saved her life,” says Cherry.

And Gerry is grateful to be alive and grateful for the fire fighters who saved her home.

“I don’t think there’s any way I would have gone back in that house when I couldn’t see anything. They ran in. They ran in. Who does that? Well, it’s a calling like serving God, it’s got to be,” says a grateful Gerry.

In addition to the awards, ADT also gave the Wichita Fire Department a $5,000 check for their service.

Gerry says she’s got places to go and things to do and is very grateful for the extra time she’s been given to get them all accomplished.

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