Beloit hero receives national recognition for saving woman, kids from burning home

Local News

BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — Luis Mendoza, who rescued a 24-year-old woman and her two sons from a house fire in May 2019, has been awarded the Carnegie Medal from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.

Mendoza was among 17 people across the U.S. and Canada recognized on Tuesday for their bravery and risking their lives to save others.

The Beloit Fire Department says Mendoza was awakened in the early morning hours on May 24th, 2019 by the sound of fire crackling outside his Oak Street duplex.

When he opened the door, he found heavy fire and smoke beginning to enter the duplex. According to officials, Mendoza went to the basement apartment to awaken his neighbors, but while he was in the basement, the stairs and the door to the home was consumed by flames.

Mendoza broke a basement window and helped the woman and her children, 3 and 6, to safety.

After rescuing the trio, Mendoza returned to the building and ran up the burning stairwell to rescue his own dog, but could not find him.

Forced to leave the home due to the intensity of the fire, Mendoza was relieved to discover that his dog had escaped the fire on its own and returned home later that evening.

Mendoza suffered second-degree burns to his face and hands in the process, and has since recovered.


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