COLUMBIA, MO – On the night of April 3, two students at the Missouri University in Columbia, Cody Boswell and his friend John Rubin, were rescued from their burning university house by firefighters.

Boswell, son of Gregg and Dagmar Boswell who own both the Kansas and Missouri Auto Auctions, was trapped inside the burning building for nearly an hour. No one at the scene knew how many people were left inside, or where they were, so firefighters made repeated sweeps of the house to locate those who were trapped.

Battalion Chief Steve Sapp and firefighters Dave Richerson, Doug Thoma and Jim Kandlik were on hand at the Missouri Auto Auction Aug. 12, for the presentation of a $5,000 check to Missouri University Hospital’s George David Peak Memorial Burn Care Center.

Boswell’s father raised the money through donations and auctions of special items, including signed memorabilia from NASCAR driver Carl Edwards.

Originally, the burn center and fire department were each to receive half of the money, but the fire department, which performs fundraising for the burn center, donated its share to the hospital.

The ceremony was the first time Boswell and Rubin met their rescuers. “It was important for me to give back a little to the firefighters and the hospital, because they had done so much for both John and me,” said Boswell. “If they hadn’t been there to help, I know I wouldn’t be alive today.”

At the time for the fire, Boswell, 22, was a junior at MU. After recovering in the hospital for nearly six weeks, he was allowed to take his exams and wrap up the spring semester. Boswell is planning on taking online college courses until he returns to MU full-time. Rubin, 23, graduated from MU with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

“The support we received from our business associates was overwhelming,” said Gregg Boswell. “We were particularly touched by the phone calls we received from our colleagues among the ServNet auctions who expressed their concern and offered their prayers on our behalf.”