‘I’ll Be Right Back’: Off-Duty Firefighter Saves Family From House Fire


Dana Abizaid Contributor
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An off-duty firefighter rushed into a burning house in Providence, Rhode Island, on Sunday and helped save all eight members of a local family, WJAR reported.

Michael Mernick, Deputy Chief of the nearby Warwick Fire Department, was driving home with his wife when he saw the flames, according to WJAR. The 28-year firefighting veteran was eating a New York System wiener, but he dropped it and sprang into action.

“I pulled over to the side and out of the way, and I’m parked, and I said to my wife, ‘I’ll be right back,'” Mernick said. “Everybody was screaming and there’s a big commotion.” (RELATED: Off-Duty Firefighter In Crocs Saves 3-Year-Old Using A Garden Hose)


Local police officers on the scene told Mernick to “get out of here.” But when they found out he was a firefighter, they allowed him to run into the burning house with them, WJAR noted.

Mernick and the officers ran up two smoke-filled flights of stairs and found a mother and two kids, WLBT reported.

“I went by her, and there was a child on the bed sleeping, and grab that child up and handed him to the officer,” Mernick said, per WLBT. “Then I looked back, and I realized there was another child there on the mat on the floor. So I scooped that child up and, and handed that off to the officer.”

Mernick said his training helped him act quickly, according to WJAR.

“I think heroes are people that do extraordinary things that they’re not necessarily trained to do. This just happened to be good timing,” he said.

After all eight family members were accounted for, Mernick said, “That’s when I knew I could have more hotdogs,” according to WLBT.