Cassia County man burned helping woman who set herself on fire

The chaotic scene is captured on a recorded 911 call.

OAKLEY, Idaho — An Oakley man is being hailed as a hero after leaping into action to try to save a burning woman.

A casual family visit turned into a lifesaving event for Dakota Hensen and his family when their neighbor lit herself on fire last Friday night.

Some of the details were recorded in a 911 call.

“Cassia 9-1-1, what is the address of your emergency?” the dispatcher asked.

“I was out in Oakley on Cottonwood and my neighbor is on fire,” Henson responds.

“His house?”

“No, the guy!”

“Do you know what’s wrong or what started that?”

Henson, a volunteer firefighter, immediately went to work in saving the victim’s life. His girlfriend’s son Anthony also helped.

“I used my shirt and mine caught on fire, then I used my hands and finished patting her out,” he said.

Henson saved the victim, but suffered second- and third-degree burns on his hands.

“It’s taking forever to heal, possible muscle damage in it. It’s messed me up pretty good,” he said. “I was supposed to start with ISP next month, and due to this I might not be able to start.”

Still, Henson says he does not regret leaping into action.

“You don’t really think about the repercussions or your own health at the time, you just do what you got to save them,” he said. “I like to think I saved her and she’s going to be O.K.”

According to a Cassia County Sheriff’s report, the victim tried to take her own life. She was airlifted to Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls and is in critical condition. Hensen and his family say they hope she pulls through.

“Both physically and mentally it’s been the hardest and most challenging to get over,” Henson said. “Watch out for your neighbor, because I never thought my neighbor would try to commit suicide.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and callers can remain anonymous.

Call 1-800-273-8255 or text 208-398-4357.

See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist:

Leave a Comment

Tampa Bay News