ATLANTA — A fire captain facing suspension for trying to save a 95-year-old woman from a house fire has received an outpouring of support.
Capt. Daniel Dwyer was suspended for four days after the fire department said he broke protocol by not waiting for his crew before going into the home to search for a victim.
The Atlanta Fire Union said Dwyer can’t speak to 11Alive directly because it’s against department policy, but the captain’s attorney, Lance Lorusso is pushing back, saying Dwyer had two other firefighters with him.
11Alive's Elwyn Lopez spoke to the attorney Tuesday, who said they're fighting the punishment on behalf of all firefighters.
Lorusso said his client is a 20-year veteran in the fire service and he realizes he took a risk to save the 95-year-old Sally Skrine last June.
Atlanta Fire documents allege Dwyer broke department policy when he entered the home. Lorusso said Dwyer went went into the home to save Skrine with two firefighters with hose support, and while Skrine didn't survive, Lorusso argues that without Dwyer's actions, she would have never had a chance.
"If she had been brought out and survived, I think this would have been looked at very differently," he said. "She did not have a chance until he decided that he was going to take a risk with two other firefighters with hose support to go in there and try to save someone."
Capt. Dwyer is appealing the four-day suspension without pay, which is supposed to start Thursday, as is his right to.
11Alive reached out to the Atlanta Fire Department for a comment, but the agency said it would be "inappropriate" to discus the case because it has not been totally resolved.