Clark County custodians get spotlight for ‘life changing’ heroism in house fire

Reid Middle School custodians Dale Rapp and John Ryder, who helped save a family from a house fire in November, were in the right place at the right time again Thursday night as they were officially lauded as heroes after the incident Ryder called “life changing.”

The team of Rapp and Ryder was awarded commendations and plaques from the Clark-Shawnee Board of Education, representatives from Springfield Twp. and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

“When you get up in the morning you just never know what your day’s going to bring, and that’s a prime example right there,” Rapp told News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy on Thursday night.

RELATED: Baby falls from ledge of burning Springfield Twp. home, caught by sheriff’s office major and Reid custodians

It’s not every day a person wakes up expecting to be a lifesaver.

And after having time to consider the actions they took in saving five lives — including a toddler and an infant — on Thanksgiving Eve, Rapp and Ryder said the incident on South Bird Street, across from the middle school, left quite an impression on them.

“Surreal. I don’t think any words can really … can explain how I felt,” Rapp said.

“It’s life-changing that's for sure,” Ryder said. “That is overwhelming I’m still in awe of all this, because I really don't think what we did was that big of a deal … I don’t know … I guess it is.”


Two employees of Reid Middle School will be recognized Thursday night for their heroic efforts.

The Clark-Shawnee Board of Education will recognize custodians Dale Rapp and John Ryder on Thursday at the board meeting for their help saving a family from a house fire in November.

Rapp and Ryder were working outside on Nov. 27 when they noticed a house on fire on South Bird Street across from Reid Middle School.

The two called 9-1-1 and ran across the street to help the family members who had evacuated the house and were on the roof.

“Mr. Rapp and Mr. Ryder acted quickly and bravely to help a family in need in our community and we are incredibly proud of their selfless and heroic actions,” said Superintendent Brian Kuhn. “We are looking forward to thanking them for their efforts and recognizing them as exemplary models of what it means to be Shawnee Brave.”

Rapp and Ryder will be recognized at the 7 p.m. meeting at Shawnee Middle/High School, 1675 E. Possum Road in Springfield.

Representatives from Springfield Twp. and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office also will be in attendance to recognize the custodians.

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