people in the news
Binswanger Tech Becomes National Hero; Rescues Six from Burning Building
in Austin, Texas
A glass technician recently became a national hero when he rescued six
people from a burning building in Austin, Texas. Robin DeHaven of Binswanger
Glass was driving to a job on February 18 when he observed a plane crashing
off the highway and immediately went to help.
“It seemed out of the ordinary,” DeHaven, a native of Logansport, Ind.,
told AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.com™ during an exclusive interview. “The
plane went south and it was going down and I didn’t know what was going
to happen. A big cloud of smoke came down.”
That’s when the U.S. Army veteran’s instincts kicked in and he decided
to try to help.
“I exited right away and flew into a parking lot,” he recalls. “I tried
to call 911, too, but of course they were busy with all the calls.”
Though he finally got through to 911, he continued to head into the direction
of the building where the plane had hit. (It has since been revealed that
a local man had crashed the plane into the Internal Revenue Services building
to which DeHaven headed to help out.)
As DeHaven pulled into the parking lot, another bystander noticed he had
a large ladder on the truck and asked if he would help out. Without hesitation,
DeHaven says he propped the ladder against the building, trying to ensure
that it was stable, and began his climb up to the second story where five
people were waiting.
“We tried to put it near a brace … I got to the top and the ladder slipped
a little bit and started dropping a few inches,” he says. “I grabbed the
ledge and eventually got into the building through the window.”
Knowing the ledge he’d used wouldn’t work for the climb down, DeHaven
quickly looked for another option and Knowing the ledge he’d used wouldn’t
work for the climb down, DeHaven quickly looked for another option and
saw that there was what appeared to be a sturdier ledge at the next window
“There was a window still intact over it, so we had to break out that
window,” he says.
Once DeHaven attached the ladder to the second window, he began to attempt
the rescue mission, escorting each employee out the window, onto the ledge
and then onto the ladder. He rescued six people in total.
By that time, the local fire department had arrived on the scene, so DeHaven
gathered his ladder (after getting the okay from the fire department)
and thought he’d sneak away to have a quiet lunch break, catch his breath,
and then continue on to his next job.
“I took my ladder, called my boss and told him I helped some people when
a plane crashed,” DeHaven says. “I thought I was just going to get my
ladder and go. I didn’t say my name [to anyone there], but I guess someone
called the corporate office and corporate found out and called me.”
Though he remembers the details clearly, DeHaven says the rescue took
approximately five minutes in total; the fire hadn’t yet entered the office
in which he assisted, but the hallways had already begun to fill with
smoke at the point he arrived.
DeHaven attributes his ability and quick-to-assist nature to his time
in the U.S. Army.
MGA Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Foley Passes Away
Kevin Foley, secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota Glass Association (MGA)
and owner of Auto Glass Today in Minneapolis, passed away on Thursday,
January 28. He was 44.
Foley entered the glass business only a few years ago with his purchase
of Auto Glass Today, according to a statement from the MGA, and he immersed
himself in the industry quickly. He immediately became involved with the
MGA and was elected to the Board as secretary treasurer.
He is survived by his wife, Heidi; father, John Foley; sister, Debbie
Foley; cousin, John Polley; parents-in-law, Fern and Stuart Johnson; sisters-in
law, Janice (Tom) Jordan; Susan (Scott) James, Joyce Johnson; brother-in-law
Perry (Shelly) Johnson; and many nieces and nephews.
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