Men honored for heroism during a Christmas fire

NOW: Men honored for heroism during a Christmas fire

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Two men were honored on Wednesday for their roles during a Miami Street fire that happened just before Christmas.

They noticed the burning apartment building and saw that people were still inside, so the two men jumped into action despite not knowing each other nor the people in the apartment.

During a ceremony honoring those heroic deeds, one of the men, Mike Sells, recounted the actions he took that night.

“Instantly, I kicked the door open. I just ran up the steps and just grabbed the fire extinguisher and banged on the first door. ‘Fire get out the building!’ (I) ran down the steps and tried to use the fire extinguisher. (It) ran out on me, so I ran up the steps again, banged on a couple more doors, grabbed a second fire extinguisher, ran down the stairs and used that one. That one ran out on me.”

Sells and another man, Darnell Johnson, ran through the complex alerting residents and getting them out of the building before firefighters arrived.

Firefighters at the scene said that because of how quickly the fire was spreading and the locations of the exits in the building, those few extra minutes between the men’s actions and the arrival of fire trucks likely saved the lives of some residents.

Although Johnson was not in attendance at the ceremony, because of that life-saving response, both men were honored by the Board of Public Safety, and Sells was given a coin.

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