Valley family thanks married NHP troopers who saved them from fi - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Valley family thanks married NHP troopers who saved them from fire

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Joseph, left, and Trissa DellaBalla, right, are being hailed as heroes for rescuing six people from a burning apartment building on March 3, 2018 (LVFR / Twitter). Joseph, left, and Trissa DellaBalla, right, are being hailed as heroes for rescuing six people from a burning apartment building on March 3, 2018 (LVFR / Twitter).

A valley family was reunited with the married Nevada Highway Patrol Troopers who saved them from an apartment fire Tuesday.

Trisa and Joseph DellaBella were hailed as heroes by first-responders after they rescued and alerted residents of a fire at a west Las Vegas apartment complex on Saturday morning. 

The DellaBellas were off-duty and with their three children when they drove by a Cornerstone Crossing apartment building that was completely engulfed in flames on 6666 West Washington Avenue, near Rainbow Boulevard at 8:15 a.m. The couple immediately approached the building and pulled the fire alarms, according to NHP Trooper Jason Buratczuk. 

Trissa collected multiple fire extinguishers from surrounding apartment buildings to extinguish the flames and alerted residents who lived behind the engulfed building to evacuate quickly. 

"When we originally pulled in," Joseph DellaBella said. "There were some folks in the parking lot and we asked if everybody was out of that unit. They said 'We don't know,' and by the time we got to the back of the stairs it had already spread across, so we went to the bottom units and that's when we were pounding on the doors and broke the window. People had clearly just woke up, it was 8 o'clock in the morning."

Joseph broke a first-story window to alert residents to evacuate. It was then that he discovered a mother, her two children and their pets in the unit. The family was evacuated from the building but the mother ran back into the unit to rescue her pets. Joseph was able to run after her and remove her from the unit because the heavy smoke and flames were intensifying, Buratczuk said. 

In the days following the fire, the Dellabellas said they had been wondering how the people they'd help had been doing. On Tuesday, at NHP Southern Command Headquarters, the troopers were able to meet one of the families.

That morning, Solenea Stark, along with her son's Elijah, Noah, and his girlfriend Sinthea, ran out of their apartment when they heard the troopers banging on the doors.

"The commotion from upstairs was just so scary," Stark said. "It got me out of bed."

At first Stark thought her neighbors were fighting upstairs.

"But then ... before I could even think about it, by that time, Joseph was kicking in my door and yelling fire, get out," Stark said.

Stark said when she ran outside and looked up the entire top half of her apartment building was in flames. She said if it wasn't for the off duty NHP Troopers, she isn't sure if she and her family would be alive today.

"They don't make cards for when somebody saves your life," said Stark. "I now know why because there are no words for that."

The couple rescued a total of six residents from the fire, according to Las Vegas Fire and Rescue public information officer Tim Szymanski. They transported Joseph to Centennial Hills Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. 

The DellaBellas have served the Las Vegas community as NHP Troopers for 15 years. LVFR and NHP are hailing the couple as heroes for this selfless act. 

"Nevada State Troopers are always on duty and these two troopers exemplify the high standards that our leadership and citizens expect out of our first responders," Buratczuk said. "We are incredibly proud of our Troopers, thankful they are okay and we are overjoyed they were able to save lives even while off-duty." 

The two-alarm fire affected a total of three apartment units on two floors causing $100,000 in damages. Six adults and 12 children were displaced as a result of the fire and are being assisted by the Southern Nevada Red Cross.

After hearing about the fire, the owner of Nevada Coin Mart began collecting gift cards to help fire victims. He plans to collect gift cards all week and on Tuesday gave Star a $500 gift card to help her though the recover process. Nevada coin mart is located in the Flamingo Jones Plaza at 4065 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Szymanski said. 

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