The London Fire Department spent a part of Monday afternoon honouring two brave citizens who “showed good judgment” when they helped a family escape a burning house.
Doug O’Loughlin (pictured left) and Adam Mortezof (pictured right) both received “Citizen Involvement Awards” at a ceremony at London Fire Station No. 1.
The fire occurred Apr. 30 at 62 Duke St.
Neighbours called 9-1-1 as the home’s escape route was blocked for the family trying to get to safety.
Both men say they just reacted and decided to help.
“First reaction, run down there, get the people, wake them up, get them out of there, whatever they’re doing. Within about two minutes time we got them out,” said Adam Mortezof. “The thing that blows my mind, I’ll never forget it, is taking out that last family member and then the black smoke coming out within five seconds out of that window.”
O’Loughlin says he’s glad there is a somewhat happy ending to the ordeal.
“I’d rather get this response than get the response that five people are dead in a house. So in that way, it’s great. It’s not great that there was a fire, but it’s great it worked out the way it did.”
When the fire department arrived on scene, the blaze was too intense to try to enter the residence.
The fire department says both men showed good judgment by not entering the home themselves.
“I was running kind of, back away from the house for a couple seconds to take a breath, running back in,” said Mortezof. “My mother always told me make sure you tell everybody you love them before you go to bed… And I’m laying there and I’m thinking thank god this family has a second chance that they can actually tell one another that they love each other.”