DAEGU, South Korea - A routine trip to the commissary turned into a lifesaving mission, Feb. 5, outside of Camp Humphreys. Staff Sgt. Victor Gomoimunn and his wife, Nicole Lysiak, were on their way to do their grocery shopping when she noticed smoke coming from a building just down the street from their home.
Gomoimunn, a petroleum supply specialist from Waterford, New York assigned to 339th Quartermaster Company, immediately ran towards the smoke filled building asking the gathering crowd if there was anyone left inside. Upon receiving reports that there was a woman and her young child still in their apartment on the third floor he ran into the building through the front door searching for a way to get upstairs to them.
"I saw the children standing outside and I was worried about them," said Lysiak. "We know many of the residents in the neighborhood and when I looked up he was gone."
"The building was filled with black smoke," said Gomoimunn. "I couldn't see anything and I couldn't breathe."
Knowing that someone may still be trapped inside he began searching for another way in, explained Lysiak. He ran around the side of the building searching for another entrance before spotting water pipes going up the side of the building. They happened to run near a third floor window.
"I climbed up the pipe to a window on a third floor balcony," he said. "It was locked but the woman was inside and she was able to unlock the window. Once inside I found them both in the living room."
He explained that once inside he was able to lead 30-year-old Sun Helmer and her child through the building smoke to the balcony and fresh air. She had not been able to escape her apartment in time to avoid the thick smoke coming from what was later determined to be an electrical fire on the second floor.
Once upstairs with Helmer, Gomoimunn initially thought to bring them back down the same pipe he had gained entry by. One of the onlookers told him that the fire department was on the way so they all waited on the balcony, although the water pipe was a last resort option.
While his wife has a different opinion calling him a "hero," and saying "he is always running towards danger," he remains humble about the day's events.
"I really don't think I did anything, I just kept them company until the fire department came."