McDonald’s honors hometown heroes at grand re-opening of General Booth Blvd. location

Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-19 18:14:44-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - More than six months later, Frances Stonum says she still doesn't want to be called a hero.

However, that's what many are calling her.

She received an official proclamation from Virginia Beach Councilwoman Barbara Henley at the grand re-opening of the McDonald's at 2097 General Booth Boulevard on Saturday, for her bravery back on June 5th.

Stonum took action after a driver had a medical emergency, lost control of the van he was driving, crashed into the drive-thru, and hit a natural gas connection, immediately bursting into flames.

"I just couldn't see anybody burn to death and so I ran over there and his wife was coming around the side," says Stonum. "She said my husband, he's having a seizure, and I yelled out 'Call 9-1-1, call 9-1-1.' I got him out and carried him over out of the way, got her out of the way."

Virginia Beach firefighters and EMS were also honored on Saturday by local McDonald's owner/operator Paul Smith.

"When we arrived we had multiple problems, we obviously had some people who were injured, we had a vehicle crash, we had a vehicle on fire, we also had a gas meter involved which created a very different problem for us," says Battalion Chief Jack Crandell. " It took us about two hours to get the gas secured where we were able to fully put the fire out."

"June 5th is a day we will always remember," says Smith. "We're thankful that no one was seriously hurt."

While much of the community, including Smith, are crediting Stonum and the first responders for getting back to business on Saturday, they tell NewsChannel 3 that their actions were not out of the ordinary.

"It was like spontaneous, it was just something that you do, something that you would want done for you or someone you loved," says Stonum.

Celebrations continue all weekend, with $1 Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin with Egg breakfast specials and $1 Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese lunch specials on both December 19th and 20th.