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Man meets dispatcher who saved his life; fire department receives $10,000

James Arnold hugs Stacey Fioravanti, the dispatcher who saved his life, when he first meets her. (Thomas Gray/WCYB)

A Kingsport man is alive right now thanks to a home security system dispatcher.

On November 13 last year, an apparent electrical short caused a fire at James Arnold's home. Arnold was overcome by the smoke and passed out. Home security dispatcher Stacey Fioravanti notified Warriors Path Volunteer Fire Department that an alarm was going off at the home.

James “Trapper” Arnold expressed gratitude to his rescuers. He may have been minutes from death when firefighters pulled him out of his burning house and resuscitated him.

Thursday, for the first time, he met the security dispatcher from New York who alerted firefighters.

"You saved my life. Thank you."

Arnold said he first tried to put out the fire.

"I grabbed a big fire extinguisher,” Arnold said. “I turned around and couldn't see anything. The thick smoke was already that dense."

Another minute or two in the smoke would have killed him, fire officials said.

"They said I had about a minute and a half to live, tops,” Arnold said. “It was a very close call."

Fioravanti said meeting the man she saved was emotional for her as well.

"I lost my grandfather two years ago,” Fioravanti said. “He fell off a ladder in the garage, and nobody was there. Nobody knew for like two hours that he had passed. And I just look at him and he reminds me of my grandfather."

She said she’s glad she saved someone else's grandfather.

"I just feel glad that his grandkids get to still have him," Fioravanti said.

Warriors Path Fire Department also received a $10,000 donation from ADT and State Farm Insurance for their role in rescuing Arnold. Chief Ben Wexler said the money will be used to buy new air tanks.

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