Buzzcuts and Bravery: Local barbers recognized by Nashville for heroic actions

Published 5:29 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

Two residents went above and beyond to help their fellow man, and the State of Tennessee was quick to take notice.
Sen. Rusty Crowe made the trip to Elizabethton Friday to present Jon Whitson and Arnold Lane with proclamations from the State Senate for their actions of helping a resident escape from a burning building in August.
“Throughout much of its history, Tennessee has been known as the Volunteer State because it has been the home of so many valiant men and who have responded with great courage and strength of character in times of trouble and adversity,” the proclamation read. “Two such outstanding individuals are Jon Whitson and Arnold Lane, who demonstrated incredible courage and kindness as they came to the aid of Richard Slagle, an elderly resident whose home caught on fire on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.”
City of Elizabethton firefighters responded to the fire, located in the 1700 block of West Elk Avenue, and indicated the day of the fire that it took 45 minutes to get the flames under control at the antique, 120-year-old, two-story home.
Slagle was inside the building during the fire but was unharmed after Whitson and Lane entered the building to escort the homeowner out. Whitson’s Barbershop is located right beside the home.
“We just took off running over there,” Whitson told the Elizabethton Star following the incident. “You could already see the smoke and flames by the time we got there. We went in the back door and saw him in the bottom of the house. It was starting to get smoky. He didn’t even realize what was going on, but we convinced him to get out.”
Crowe was quick to commend the efforts of the duo, who were going about business Friday before the senator’s arrival.
“It is so important these days, when there’s so much conflict in our nation and people are so divided not only politically but ideologically,  when we see instances of kindness like this – courage and caring for fellow man – that we’re proud in Nashville to honor that,” Sen. Crowe said. “This is word from the State that we’re proud of their actions.”
Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally piggybacked Crowe’s sentiments in the proclamation by stating, “We honor and commend Jon Whitson and Arnold Lane for their heroism in rescuing Richard Slagle from his burning home on August 17, 2017, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Crowe added the actions taken by the gentlemen could be used as something for children in the community to strive for in the future.
“Let this be an example for our youth,” the senator said. “We all need to look out for each other in our respective communities.”

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