Mrozik becomes the hero she was ‘born to be’

By Michael Linnell
University Communications Director

MINOT, N.D. – Quick thinking and a little courage from Minot State student Agata Mrozik helped save the lives of a pair of Minot residents and their beloved pets.

Mrozik, a junior art education major, and her fellow employees at ABC Daycare noticed smoke and flames coming from a neighboring duplex Monday. After calling 911, she made a quick decision to alert the residences.

“We were working across the street and could see the smoke. We first thought maybe someone was grilling, but then you could see the smoke coming out of the upper area of the building — black smoke,” she said. “I called 911 just in case and then ran over to the front door.”

She continued to talk with the 911 dispatcher about the scene as the smoke turned into visible flames.

“It progressed really fast,” she said. “The whole front door was on fire.”

After alerting the individuals who were working to install a satellite dish in the lower level of the duplex, she went to the back of the house for access to the upstairs apartment. Inside were an elderly woman and her son, both who were apparently sleeping when the fire started.

“It was me and another guy, I don’t know his name, we told the older lady first and then her son the house was on fire and they needed to get out,” Mrozik said. “The lady didn’t want to leave because of her cats. We got the lady out and me and the other guy went in to find the cats.

“I didn’t even think twice about it, just went right in. I have cats and completely understood why the lady wouldn’t want to leave without them. I wasn’t thinking about the fire at all, I was thinking this is my chance to be the hero I was born to be!”

After a short search, the duo found the family’s pets about the time Minot Fire Department arrived on the scene. Mrozik handed over the cats to the owner, who was overwhelmed, and then returned to work.

“I think both of them were in denial about the fire at first. When we first got there, the older lady was trying to put a towel under the door to stop the smoke and I was just like, ‘no, you have to get out of here,’” she said. “I was probably a little in denial as well. After I gave her the cat, I walked back to work, but I felt like crying. I called my mom and could barely speak. I’ve never experienced fire like that before. It was pretty intense.”

The experience has left a lasting impressing on the third-year college student.

“I’m seriously thinking I want to be a firefighter now,” Mrozik said. “I could teach during the school year and fight fires in the summer. There is a thrill when saving people.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/25/21   

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