Tuesday , June 25 2024

Men Who Rescued Man From Fire Honored by City, Fire Dept.

Three Fresno men who saved a man from his burning home are officially named heroes. The Fresno City Council named Nov. 13, 2014, “Tom Artiaga, Moises Gonzalez, and Art Meza Day” in the City of Fresno.

The Fresno Fire Department also honored the trio with a Civilian Lifesaving Award.

Last month, a fire ripped through a Fresno duplex while 73-year-old Robert Wells was still inside.

Cell phone video captured by Beth Lederach, a woman walking by, showed just how intensely the fire burned.

But that didn’t stop three civilians from risking their lives to save another’s.

“I just did it out of normal reaction to help out. That’s just normal reaction,” Tom Artiaga says.

What was a normal reaction for him, the city of Fresno calls heroic.

“Well deserved, well earned, and it was our privilege to give them that proclamation declaring today their day,” says Paul Caprioglio, Fresno City Councilmember representing District 4.

“It’s very overwhelming, very exciting, to know that they set aside a day for us to be recognized. It feels good,” Arturo Meza says.

Meza ran into the smoky apartment and helped wells out into the backyard. Meanwhile, Moises Gonzalez grabbed a garden hose to try to suppress the fire.

The video captured Artiaga running out with Wells over his shoulder.

Their heroic efforts made national headlines.

Artiaga says, “I didn’t expect it to go that big, but like I said, back to normal life”–humble words for an extraordinary measure.

The Fresno Fire Department’s Civilian Lifesaving Award is for civilians who go “above and beyond” to save a human life.

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