Red Cross honors three heroes from Carson area

RENO - A Lyon County firefighter, a Carson City mother and a Stateline teen volunteer were among Northern Nevadans recognized by the American Red Cross during a Heroes Breakfast in Reno on Thursday morning.

Central Lyon County Fire Fighter Kevin Kleinworth was awarded the Professional Hero of the Year award for his actions during Carson City's Waterfall fire last summer, said Caroline Punches, Red Cross executive director.

On July 14 - the day the ravaging fire started on a ridge above Kings Canyon Road - Kleinworth was among scores of firefighters and residents clogging the winding west-side road when the blaze erupted in three directions, eventually leveling 18 homes.

Kleinworth said no one was panicking when the fire burst, but there was a sense of urgency as the people moved quickly out of its path. As he was heading to safety, he spotted a broadcast-news truck trying to turn around and he stopped to make room for it.

In the time he waited, flames engulfed his rig. He suffered burns to his face, neck and ears and is credited with saving the news crew from harm.

About 275 people attended the Red Cross' fund-raiser at Harrah's Reno. Punches said $13,000 was raised in the Sierra Nevada Chapter's second such breakfast.

Kaylie Allen, an employee for the Nevada Secretary of State Office, received the Red Cross' Community Hero citation.

Keegan Allen, 9, nominated her mother saying, "My mom is a hero because she saved my brothers and me from a fire." The fire nearly destroyed the home, but Allen and her children escaped unharmed.

Also honored at the breakfast was Christina Arana, 17, of Stateline, as the Youth of the Year. Punches said Arana is a senior at Whittell High School and a volunteer with the Tahoe Douglas Fire Department.

Punches said she was pleased with the turnout.

"This is only our second year and we're planning on the Heroes Breakfast becoming our major signature event since it ties in perfectly with our mission," she said.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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