Austin Firefighters receive high honor for life-saving rescue



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Posted on April 27, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 27 at 10:15 PM

Austin -- Austin firefighters gathered Saturday night to honor some of their own who risked their lives to save others. They rushed into a burning home late last year to save two kids.

Saturday 5 AFD members received one of the department's highest honors: The Medal of Valor. They're receiving the award for rescuing 2 children from a massive house fire in November of 2012.

"We're just showing up and trying to do our jobs," explained Medal of Valor recipient Aidan Bradley.

The men forced down a door and braved the flames to save the kids who were trapped in the back of the house in a room with no windows.

"When we showed up there was fire blowing out of pretty much every window that we could see," Bradley added. "The moment when we were pulling up on scene and we heard over the radio that there were 2 victims inside, there's nothing like it. Your adrenaline starts to rush. You just want to get in there and try to do whatever you can."

Battalion Chief Palmer Buck says the girls were only seconds from dying.

"Our crews went above and beyond, putting themselves at risk. In this particular case, making a pretty intense rescue," explained Chief Buck. "[There were] rapidly deteriorating conditions in a house fire and they were able to successfully rescue 2 young girls, 14 & 11, literally seconds from when they would have perished."

After a long recovery process Chief Buck says the girls are now doing fine. Captain Michael Becker, Firefighter Randy Balogh, Firefighter Joshua Lake, Lieutenant Joshua Portie and Firefighter Aidan Bradley received the honor Saturday for their rescue.

"Quite honestly the structure and the amount of fire in that home, we would not have gone inside had there not been reports of people inside," said Portie. "If you arrive at a fire as a firefighter and you don't expect people to be trapped, you don't expect to push to the limits a little bit, then you're not preparing to do your job"

Fire officials ruled the fire on E 14th and Alamo arson and the investigation is still ongoing.