Philly Firefighter Says He Was Chided After Rescue

A Philadelphia firefighter who saved a woman from a burning home Wednesday morning says he was criticized by a department official for letting the victim use his mask during the rescue.

Watch Video

Firefighter Fran Cheney told WTXF-TV that he just did what he believes any other firefighter would do.

The fire victim, Mary Jackson, says she couldn't see or breathe and that if it wasn't for the actions of Cheney, she wouldn't be alive to talk about it.

"(She was) just smoky, heaving, trying to catch her breath," Cheney said. "I mean it was just, you could hear it; she was in distress."

That's when he took a quick breath, took his helmet off, gave her the mask and said "Let's go."

He carried her down the stairs and outside to safety.

Not only did Cheney rescue the woman, he donate the $500 he earned working overtime to Jackson and her family as they pick up the pieces following the fire.

Cheney suffered smoke inhalation and spent the night at Temple University Hospital for observation and planed to be back on the job at Ladder 10 on Friday

What confused Cheney, however, was that when a department administrator paid him a visit at the hospital, he was chided for his actions.

He was told that letting Jackson use his mask "wasn't smart" and the department plans to investigate whether proper procedures were followed.

He told the news station that regardless of the outcome, he'd do it again in an instant.

"(In that moment) I'm not worrying about directives. I'm not worrying about paperwork. I'm worrying about this woman and a family worrying about her, whether she's alive in that house right now."