Bridgeport coach in serious condition after courageous fire rescue


BRIDGEPORT-The Bridgeport head boys basketball coach and former nationally ranked decathlete remains in serious condition today after rescuing a 9-year old boy from a burning house in Bridgeport last Friday morning.

Crews from Douglas-Okanogan Fire District 15 responded to the blaze at around 6:20 on the 400 block of Highway 173 in Bridgeport where they found the two-story home already engulfed in flames.

Fire officials say Tara Martin, a special education teacher at Bridgeport Middle School, was the first to smell smoke and hear wind noises in the house before waking her boyfriend, Pat McFadden, head basketball coach at Bridgeport High School.

McFadden then raced to the bedroom of Martin’s 9-year old son, ran through intense heat and flames and took the boy outside. McFadden, Martin and the boy were all transported to Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster.

Martin was released from the hospital while McFadden and the boy were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. McFadden is in serious condition and the 9-year old boy is in satisfactory condition.

Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal says McFadden is a hero.

“To suddenly be awakened from a sound sleep and throw the door open and the hallway is immersed in fire and to think nothing about yourself but dash in and grab that little child and run through the flames, it was phenomenal,” Harvey said. “The deputy who actually went out to help on that call agreed it was amazing valor to do that.”

The home and two cars were completely destroyed in the fire and fire officials say the cause is still undetermined.

For those looking to help, an account at Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union has been setup to benefit McFadden Martin and her son.