Canadian County sheriff’s deputies lauded as life-savers

Rescue mother, daughter who passed out from toxic fumes in basement

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Union City’s Kamara Gatz (right) and daughter Kadence (left) meet with their life-saving heroes, deputy Tony Dorman Jr. (second from left) and Sgt. Austin Albrecht of the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar

Associate Editor

EL RENO – Two Canadian County sheriff’s deputies are being credited with saving a mother and daughter who had passed out from toxic fumes in a home southwest of El Reno.

Sgt. Austin Albrecht and deputy Tony Dorman Jr. on Nov. 29 rescued Union City’s Kamara Gatz and her 14-year-old daughter Kadence after they were found on the ground and unconscious in the basement of a house in the 4700 block of S Heaston Road.

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West

“I’m so proud of my two deputies for saving them,” Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said.

Gatz described the life-saving sheriff’s deputies as “heroes.”

In a Facebook post, she wrote that “the only reason Kadence and I are here today is because of God and everyone’s prayers. Thank you will never be enough.”

Kamara Gatz’s mother called the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office that night concerned about her daughter’s welfare after Kamara didn’t answer her phone. Kamara, a real estate agent, was getting ready to list the house for sale.

“She needed to seal a portion of the wall down in the basement/cellar area and there’s no ventilation,” Canadian County Sheriff’s Maj. Ross Reuter said.

When Sgt. Albrecht and deputy Dorman arrived, they saw Gatz’s pickup parked in the driveway and all the lights on inside the house.

Entering the home through an unlocked door, Albrecht and Dorman smelled a chemical odor as they began searching.

“They got to the stairway that leads to the basement/cellar area and at the end of the steps, they saw Kamara and her daughter Kadence laying on the floor,” Maj. Reuter said.

The chemicals were so strong that the deputies had to return outside for fresh air before they could re-enter the basement and save the woman and girl from the toxic fumes.

“They brought up Kadence and then Kamara and took them both outside,” Reuter said. “By that time, our deputies were overcome with the fumes. They were feeling nauseous, sick and couldn’t hardly breathe.

“They had to sit there about 10 minutes to get their bearings together.”

Pafford EMS ambulance personnel came to the scene to treat Gatz and her daughter, who have Sgt. Albrecht and deputy Dorman to thank for saving their lives.

“They had very shallow breathing,” Maj. Reuter said. “If they were in there any longer, it would have been a different outcome.”

El Reno police officer Steven Kennedy arrived to help the Canadian County deputies by checking the home to make sure nobody else was inside.

El Reno firefighters removed the chemicals, a sealant, from the house. They also provided the sheriff’s deputies with oxygen.

Kamara Gatz and daughter Kadence were taken by ambulance to local hospitals for further treatment.

Sgt. Albrecht began at the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office in April 2013 and deputy Dorman started at the department in July 2019.