Heroic Orillia man credited with saving couple from house fire in 2021

“I’m so grateful that I was able to put it all together the way I did,” Mitchell Dean says of his efforts that likely saved the lives of an elderly couple.

Orillia resident Mitchell Dean was officially recognized for his heroic actions in January 2021, when he kicked down the front door of a burning house to rescue an elderly couple trapped inside. (Click here to read our original story)

Last January, while driving home on the corner of Barrie Road and Marlissa Drive, Dean noticed that a nearby house had caught fire and he called 911 before driving in to investigate.

He heard a banging noise inside the house, first thinking it was from the crackling fire before realizing people were trapped inside.

“I listened to the sound some more, and I was like there was no way anything was crackling in the fire – it sounds like someone’s stuck,” Dean said. OrilliaMatters. “I could tell someone was definitely in there.”

Dean then kicked the front door and helped the couple to safety.

The two dogs inside the house were also able to get away.

For his actions, Dean was presented with a certificate of appreciation by the city council on Monday evening.

“There are times in our lives when we may be faced with a very difficult decision, especially when someone’s health or even life is in danger,” Mayor Steve Clarke said.

“Mitchell stepped in, didn’t hesitate and walked in and saved two people from a burning house. I don’t claim to know what level of conscience goes into this decision, or what level of courage, but we take our hats off to you,” the mayor said. “Please accept our deepest gratitude for your heroic action.

Dean said he was just grateful that he recognized what was going on at the time.

“It’s not like it’s something that normal people can train for in their life to be ready,” he said. OrilliaMatters after Monday’s virtual presentation. “I’m so grateful that I was able to put it all together the way I did.”

In addition to Monday’s acknowledgment at council, Dean said many people have reached out to congratulate him since the incident, including the couple and their family members.

“It’s really cool. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a feeling,” he said. “I mean, it’s not like you get the chance every day.”

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