94-year-old saves her Vero Beach retirement community building from fire

Don't let Rose Swiszowski's 4' 7" stature fool you

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Don't let Rose Swiszowski's 4-foot, 7-inch stature fool you -- she is one brave lady.

The 94-year-old Vero Beach resident is being credited for putting out a fire in St. Francis Manor, a retirement community in Vero Beach located in the 1700 block of 20th Avenue.

The fire could have caused extensive damage to its recreation center.

She was walking to her apartment when she noticed flames in front of the community building on Sunday night.

"I came around the corner and I saw what looked like a bonfire," said Swiszowski.

It was no bonfire, firefighters believe the blaze was sparked inside a cigarette receptacle.

Swiszowski did not hesitate and immediately jumped into action.

"First I got a pitcher of water and threw that on it, and when that didn't work I threw flour on the fire," explains Swiszowski.

Eventually fire rescue came and relieved Swiszowski, but credited the retired resident with saving the day.

"I don't think I am a hero, not at all," she said.

Fire rescue officials will return to the complex next week to thank the 94-year-old for her courageous act and quick thinking.

TCPalm.com contributed to this story.

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