Maywood Fire Chief Praises Heroic Out-of-towner Who Saved Family in Oct. 8 House Fire

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: A home on the 1800 block of South 21st Ave., on fire on Oct. 8. Enrique Baez, an Indiana resident in town visiting relatives, rescued two people from the flames, said Maywood’s fire chief. 

Enrique Baez was in Maywood visiting relatives on Sunday, Oct. 8, when he realized that a fire was burning at a home nearby, on the 1800 block of South 21st Ave.

With no protective gear, Baez went inside of the burning home and discovered an elderly woman and a young child.

“Not only did  he bring them both out of the house, Enrique went back into the house and continued to search for occupants,” said Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh, Jr. during an Oct. 17 regular village board meeting, where he presented Baez with an honorable mention.

“He went back in only to be driven out by heat and heavy smoke,” Bronaugh said. “This is very brave on his part. It’s dangerous enough for fire personnel to go inside burning buildings. And they wear protective clothing. They wear equipment like self-contained breathing apparatuses to protect their lungs. Enrique went in that building without any equipment.”

Bronaugh said that, while he cautions civilians “never to enter a structure involved in a fire for obvious safety reasons,” he nonetheless wanted to congratulate Baez for his “safety, compassion and his effort.”

No injuries were reported in the fire, which Bronaugh said at the time was caused by an accident. He did not go into details about the cause.

Bronaugh, who explained that he learned about Baez’s actions after the fire was extinguished, said that Baez lives in Indiana and could not make it to the night’s board meeting. Baez could not be reached for comment by the time this article went to publication.

“Again, I want it to be on record that this took place and I want to acknowledge him for his efforts,” said Bronaugh. VFP

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