West Islip, N.Y. Firefighter, Hazle Township, Penn. Firefighters Honored for Rescues

Firehouse Magazine released its annual Heroism & Community Service Awards in the April issue.


A firefighter tried to grab the man's hands and pull him out, but to no avail.

Without hesitation, Otto, Ruby and Ward rushed back into the fiery basement to get him out that way.

"We went in, disentangled him, and walked him out," says Otto.

Ruby says Chief Bogner didn't sustain serious injury.

"He wasn't really hurt, more heat exhaustion -- there was a heavy fire load above us and it was pretty hot downstairs."

Another person who was inside the home at the time of the blaze wasn't as lucky. Firefighters later found a dead body in the basement - not far from where Chief Bogner was found.

The men say Bogner was thankful for their help, and they have discussed the incident often.

"It was shocking for him," said Otto. "He's an experienced firefighter."

The men brush off claims that they are heroes.

"At the time it was no big deal to us," Otto says. "We just happened to be in the right place. It wasn't anything that any other firefighter wouldn't do."

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2007 Firehouse Heroism Awards

Grand Prize Recipient

  • Firefighter James T. Byrne, FDNY Ladder 121
    After leading a probationary firefighter to a refuge area, he crawled 22 feet under wind-driven flames to rescue a downed firefighter. He carried him back to safety.
$750 Award Winners
  • Assistant Chief Tim Bradley, Mebane, NC, Fire Department
    Arriving before fire apparatus, he entered a well-involved mobile home to rescue a child without SCBA or a hoseline.
  • Firefighter Joseph W. Donatelli, FDNY Ladder 132
    After being lowered from the roof on a rope, rescued a woman trapped on the 25th floor as fire burned on the two floors below.
$500 Award Winners
  • Lieutenant Albert Cinotti, West Islip, NY, Fire Department, Company 4
    While returning home from the firehouse, he came upon a house fire and without any protective equipment, entered the structure and removed an elderly male. Moments after he exited the structure, the room flashed over.
  • Firefighter Thomas McGlade, FDNY, Ladder 14
    After being extended by tower ladder into the East River, he rescued a man 120 feet from the shore as he was being swept by strong currents.
$250 Award Winners
  • Captain James W. Kitson FDNY, Ladder 47
    Crawled into an apartment fire to locate an unconscious man. He dragged the victim to safety.
  • Captain Peter Melly, FDNY, Division 7
    While attempting to shut the door to an apartment while several firefighters were trapped by 50-mph wind- fueled flames, he was hit by a stream and lost his helmet and face piece. He suffered second-degree burns
$200 Award Winners