Two Cook County Sheriff's deputies who ran into a burning building on Tuesday to alert residents inside dismissed the notion that they're heroes and said they'd do it again.
"In a heartbeat. It’s part of the job, trying to help people," said Deputy David Soto, who along with his partner, Edward Flory, jumped into action when they saw smoke pouring out of a building at 115 E. 111th St.
"In our training that we have every year, we are trained to help people in any way that we can," said Soto.
The pair told reporters at a press event on Wednesday that they were en route to an assignment when they came upon the burning building. They pulled over their squad car and people outside the building told them that others were likely still inside.
Flory went in first, Soto explained, and the men went door-to-door informing residents of the fire.
"We knocked on the door, and I told one guy, I said, 'Two doors down, there’s a fire, you need to get out of here,'" Flory recalled. "He didn’t believe me at first and then when he went in the hallway he [saw] the smoke and that’s when he decided to leave."
Flory said that if it weren't for responding firefighters, he could have been a victim of the fire.
"The smoke started getting to my lungs. I couldn't breathe and my eyes -- I couldn't see -- I got turned around in there. It took a few seconds for me to adjust, and by the time I opened my eyes -- I used my flashlight and I still couldn't see -- the floor was black full of smoke. And then I can hear people running up the stairs, and I was assuming it was the fire department -- which it was -- and then they were actually able to lead me out of the building."
Flory said his throat still hurts and he continues to spit up "this muck from the fire." Soto said his neck and back hurts from attempting to knock down a door. Doctors tell him he has a pinched nerve and two slipped discs.