The Phoenix Award, representing “a person rising above the ashes and living up to that most human element to which we all aspire,” was presented to Kathy Pierce by East Verde Park Fire Board Chairman Dan Haapala at the East Verde Park Homeowners’ meeting May 29.
The award was named and presented to Pierce for her actions during and following the consuming house fire in East Verde Park on April 28.
While firefighters worked to keep the fierce, wind-whipped fire from spreading through the community, Pierce took charge of assisting the homeowner through the ordeal.
As the home was a total loss, she took him into her home to spend the night, washed his clothes and fed him. She spent the next day helping with notification to Red Cross and his insurance company as well assisting him with all documentation and replacement of identification.
Pierce, a nurse, said, “It was a natural instinct to see that he was OK and to help him through a very stressful situation.”
While the home was a total loss, the homeowner was outside at the time and uninjured, and the firefighters were able to confine the fire to the building.