He Had No Protective Gear. He Rushed Into the Fire Anyway

Off-duty FDNY firefighter Roben Duge saves grandmother, 2 children from house fire
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2018 10:10 AM CDT
He Had No Protective Gear. He Rushed Into the Fire Anyway
Bravery in Queens by Roben Duge.   (Getty Images/braclark)

A grandmother in Queens and her two grandkids are alive today because of an off-duty firefighter's quick thinking. The New York Daily News reports Roben Duge, who's been with the FDNY for five years, had just emerged from the subway on his way home Thursday night, and as he approached his own place, he spotted sooty black smoke coming out of his neighbor's home. He had no gear and no time to get any—but that didn't stop Duge from rushing into the home and yanking out 54-year-old Linda Mitchell, a stroke victim who needs a cane to get around, and the two children, one of whom apparently started the fire by accident in the basement.

Duge says he was "reacting off instinct," which doesn't surprise his wife, Crystal. "It's just who he is," she says. "He's Superman." Duge said all he could think about was his own three kids as he rushed to save the trapped residents. "The lady could stand up, but she needed assistance walking," he says, per Firehouse.com. "The kids were screaming, scared to death." After he got them to safety, firefighters doused the flames in about 30 minutes. Duge is trying to deflect the praise now coming his way. "We operate in organized chaos and we do put ourselves at risk," he says, but "I believe there's a higher power watching over me when I do put myself in these situations." (More heroism stories.)

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