Reno Man Who Dies While Trying To Save Neighbors In Fire Honored

A Reno man who died in an unsuccessful attempt to save the lives of a neighboring elderly couple in an August mobile home fire was honored posthumously Wednesday by the City Council.

Reno Fire Chief Paul Wagner presented Leora Blue-Ringseth a medal and citation recognizing the courage of her 44-year-old husband, Norman "Jeff" Ringseth.

"We recognize the terrible loss and sympathize in it," Wagner said during an emotional ceremony. "He was truly a brave man, and we want to express our condolences and appreciation."

The widow was given a standing ovation by a packed crowd, then
each council member shook her hand.

Blue-Ringseth said her husband didn't hesitate when he saw flames coming from their neighbors' trailer on Aug. 11.

He made it to the bedside of Ted and Iris Pike before being overcome by smoke and heat.

"I'm honored. He did a great thing," Blue-Ringseth told reporters afterward.

"He knew they were handicapped. He would have done it for any neighbor."

Norman Ringseth, a market cashier, had been recovering from a work-related broken leg and neck injury at the time, she added.

The Pikes' home at the Skyline Mobile Home Park in north Reno was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

The blaze spread to an unoccupied mobile home, which also was on
fire when crews arrived.

The fires destroyed both homes, damaged two vehicles and touched
off a small brush fire that was quickly extinguished.

Investigators concluded the cause of the fire was unattended
smoking materials.