NewsLocal News


Passerby hailed as hero for pulling woman, children from southwest Wyoming house fire

Posted at 1:41 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 13:19:33-05

SWEETWATER COUNTY, Wyo. — A passerby is being hailed as a hero after he helped rescue a family from a house fire in Wyoming early Tuesday morning.

“He gave this mother and her little boy a fighting chance. His actions were the difference between life and death, truly,” said Deputy Jason Mower with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators suspect a child's hoverboard malfunctioned and set fire to the Jamestown home of a mother and her four young children, aged 12, 8, 6, and 4, as they were sleeping in their home on the 1600 block of Highway 374.

Ryan Pasborg was late for work Tuesday as he drove towards town when he smelled smoke and noticed flames shooting from the home's bedroom window.

According to a statement from the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office, when he couldn't see any emergency lights, Pasborg pulled into the driveway and noticed a young girl and two boys standing outside the house. The children told him their mother and 4-year-old younger brother were still inside.

“He didn’t have time to think. He knew what he thought was the right thing to do and he acted,” said Mower.

Without hesitation, he went inside the house and pulled the woman and child out. He noticed the mother wasn’t breathing and he performed CPR.


“The woman suddenly came to, gasped for air, and sat up,” said Mower.

Mower said Pasborg used to serve as a volunteer firefighter in Superior, Wyoming.

Pasborg then drove the family away from the roaring fire to the end of the driveway near the highway, where he waited for emergency first responders to arrive.

“It’s more likely than not that by the time emergency crews got here, it would’ve been too late for the mom and that little boy,” said Mower.

He also purchased several hundred dollars worth of clothing and essentials and personally delivered them to the family at their grandmother's residence, according to Mower.

“No matter what happens as a result of this tragedy, whether he recognizes it or not, he made an indelible and everlasting impression in the lives of these kids,” said Mower. “They’re always going to remember the man that helped rescue mommy and their little brother when their house caught on fire.

Mower was impressed by Pasbourg's bravery and selflessness.

"You know, as a police officer, most of the stories I remember involve bystanders helping first responders in difficult situations. I think this is the first time in nearly 15 years of law enforcement that I've ever heard of a total stranger truly going above and beyond in a way and in a situation that many wouldn't have dared to face," Mower said.

In a press release, Sheriff John Grossnickle wrote, "Not only is it a blessing in its own right that Mr. Pasborg was in the right place at the right time, but his willingness without second thought to risk his own life to help save this family was the difference between life and death for this young mother and her child; he gave them a fighting chance."