A New York Uber driver is being praised for his heroics after he paused a ride to help rescue people from a burning apartment building.
In an interview with CNN, Fritz Sam said he was dropping off a passenger at the airport around 8 a.m. when he noticed flames emanating from the second floor of an apartment building on Classon Avenue. He said he quickly sprung into action after his passenger gave him the go-ahead, adding that he also felt compelled to help after he realized there were no first responders around.
In an effort to wake up residents who were probably still sleeping in the burning apartment, Sam as well as his passenger and other residents screamed “fire.” The Uber driver also said he later decided to enter the building after neighbors were unable to confirm if everyone had been evacuated from the apartment.
Sam said he managed to evacuate two residents after he entered the building. That was before firefighters responded to the scene. The Uber driver also said he checked on the well-being of the residents before driving to the airport to complete the ride. His passenger, fortunately, did not miss her flight.
“On the way to the airport this morning and drove by a burning building, my Uber driver LEAPT out of the car and INTO the building while the rest of us screamed at the top of our lungs for people to evacuate, the first truck came, we rushed to the airport, I made my flight,” Sam’s passenger, Jemimah Wei, shared on Twitter.
The CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, also took to Twitter to praise Sam for his bravery. “‘I spoke to this Uber hero — he was thankful that someone helped move his car — all the while he was the one who ran into the building!,” Khosrowshahi shared.
Authorities said there were no injuries from the fire. Sam also said he was happy all the residents were safely evacuated and Wei did not miss her flight.