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Off Duty FF Recognized for Evacuating Citizens from Apartment Fire

Each week Mayor Richard J. Berry honors at least one public safety employee for going above and beyond the call of duty in performing their work. This week Public Safety Director Darren White presented the Friday’s Hero award on behalf of the mayor, honoring an off-duty Albuquerque Firefighter for entering a burning apartment building to help evacuate residents.

Contact: Erin Kinnard Thompson 505-991-6242

May 13, 2011

On Saturday May 7, Albuquerque Firefighter Robert Petty of Engine 16 was on his drive to work and had not yet arrived at his usual station when he noticed smoke near the intersection of Montgomery and Carlisle. Though he was technically not on duty yet, Firefighter Petty immediately pulled in to the Canyon Vista Apartments at 3958 Montgomery NE. That’s when he noticed an apartment building on fire.
Outside the complex, Petty found that some of the residents of the building had already evacuated but no one had called 911.

After making the initial call to 911, Firefighter Petty ascended to the third floor and began to evacuate residents himself. He knocked on door after door to ensure that all the residents were out of harm’s way. Firefighter Petty personally helped three tenants out of the burning building.

Firefighter Petty stayed on the scene until Engine 19 arrived and after he was relieved by his fellow firefighters, reported to work at his station as usual.

“It was instinctive to Firefighter Petty to try to help people in such a dangerous situation and because of his ability to quickly get to the scene, no one was hurt in the fire. On behalf of the community, we are very grateful,” said Director White.