A Michigan man was immensely thankful to a police officer who saved his 86-year-old mother from a massive blaze at a senior apartment complex Tuesday.
The fire erupted at about 3:15 p.m. at an independent living senior apartment complex in Southgate, WXYZ-TV reports. Police Sgt. Nicholas Merony was part of the initial response to the blaze, and he and others worked to get the residents—many with walkers and in wheelchairs—out of the burning building.
“I don't recall how many times we went in and out,” said Merony. “They were scared, they were nervous. They said they couldn't walk and were concerned with us carrying them down. I told them that’s what we're here for, just trust us, and we’ll get you down.”
One of the residents was the mother of Steve Johnson. Merony carried the woman—who uses a walker—down three flights of stairs to safety.
“I'm getting a hug from you," Johnson told Merony during a visit to the police department Wednesday.
“Running back up and down the steps grabbing these people is beyond heroics as far as I'm concerned,” Johnson added.
Despite Johnson's praise, Merony doesn't consider himself a hero.
“Just doing my job. Doing what we're trained to do. Just doing it the best we could," he said.