Two Pokemon GO players help save lives in St. Louis, discovering a warehouse fire while playing the game and getting hold of the authorities to rescue those trapped inside.

The way that Pokemon GO players have gone into the outside world to play the game has been one of the most interesting parts of the phenomenon surrounding the mobile title. This has led to some infamous moments, such as the stampede in Central Park to catch a Vaporeon, or the time two Canadian teenagers accidentally crossed the border into the United States while playing the game. However, not all instances of the game’s players interacting with their physical world have been negative, such as the users who helped save lives over the weekend.

Two Pokemon GO players, Matt Schwan and Trey Plocher, were playing the game at the St. Louis, Missouri, riverfront on Saturday night, but then smelled smoke and heard cries for help. The two game users then discovered a fire in a nearby warehouse, and called 911 to alert the fire brigade. Upon arrival, firefighters were then able to rescue two people from the burning building.

Should the duo have not been in the area playing Pokemon GO, then it’s possible that no-one would have heard the shouts for help and been able to call emergency services. “If no one else was down there they would’ve been toasted,” said Schwan to KSDK. “Knowing they’re alive makes me feel a lot better.”


Matters weren’t helped by the conditions in St. Louis that evening, after a winter storm that hit over Saturday night. Thankfully, no lives were lost, and although one firefighter was injured at the warehouse, they have since been released from hospital. The warehouse itself burned for over 24 hours before the fire was entirely extinguished.

It just goes to show that the effects of Pokemon GO have truly gone beyond that of a simple game, be it for better or worse. With more Pokemon set to be available in rural and urban areas thanks to a recent update to the game, who knows whether other situations such as this may come up in future. After all, it’s all a matter of being in the right place at the right time – as Schwan and Plocher thankfully were in this instance.

This year has certainly been one that Pokemon GO has dominated, as shown by some of the bizarre stats that developer Niantic has been able to share recently. The long-term legacy of the game, however, is yet to be decided, with opinions still heavily divided on whether the title is one of the best multiplayer games of 2016 or instead one of the most disappointing games of the year. At least in this case, however, it’s possible that these Pokemon GO players were able to save lives thanks to their use of the title.

Pokemon GO is out now for Android and iOS devices.