Two Rochester teens ran into a burning house and saved one adult and four children.
According to Rochester First, cousins Darius Dillard and Nate Williams were sitting on their front porch when they saw smoke billowing from the roof of a house across the street. While their father called 911, the two sprang into action, running across the street and kicking the door down.
“Downstairs it was clear,” Dillard told Rochester First. “But when we went upstairs it was dark, you couldn’t see, the smoke, once it got in your lungs, it was hard, we could have passed out.” The two found the family of five upstairs, frantically attempting to salvage their belongings.
“They were trying to get stuff out of the house and we were like, ‘No, you don’t have any time to get anything out of the house, you just need to get out of the house and go because I don’t want none of you to get burnt or nothing,’” said Williams.
The teens attempted to put the fire out, but the smoke was too much, Rochester First reported. Firefighters arrived while they were ushering the family out and were able to extinguish the fire within minutes.
Even though fire departments caution civilians against trying to put out fires on their own, the firefighters on the scene commend the teens for their heroic acts.
“I think it’s awesome that they sprung into motion and tried to make sure there wasn’t anyone inside and got them out, they did something about it,” said Jim Ryan, Rochester Fire Department’s Deputy Chief.
To acknowledge their bravery the Mayor of Rochester, Lovely Warren, and city officials decided to honor Dillard and Williams during a city council meeting with a joint proclamation and a day named just for them. As such, August 20 is officially “Darius Dillard and Nate Williams Day” in Rochester, NY.
When asked how they felt about the praise they were getting, the two remained humble. “I’m feeling great. As long as the family is safe, that’s all that matters,” said Williams. Dillard said, “ [he just plans to] continue to live up to what they’re noticing [him] for and [he’s] not going to let the city down.”
The fire department determined that the cause of the fire was electrical.