Norfolk firefighter awarded for saving boy's life during fire

Posted at 4:53 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 17:55:33-04

News 3 is honored to be the media sponsor for the 2020 Valor Awards.

The Hampton Roads Chamber produces this event to honor first responders who have gone beyond the call of duty during the past 12 months.

Will be sharing these stories of heroics all week.

Tonight’s story is for a lifesaving award. Norfolk Firefighter Joshua Chase risked his own life, as he rescued a frightened child from a burning home.

Firefighter Joshua Chase explained the day he risked his life saying, “I ran up to the building, the father was hanging out of the front window and he mentioned his kid being inside. It was time to perform a rescue. I get to the top of the stairwell, open the apartment door. At this point, we couldn’t see anything. The door shut behind me and I can hear the kid yelling for help. Do I come off the wall and go for this kid? And how am I gonna know where I am? If I don’t find him while he’s breathing, I have nothing to draw me to him. I made the decision to follow the screams of the child. Knocking stuff over, furniture, I don’t know what I was running into. I just ran into him. He was still screaming and crying. I went to leave the apartment, and that’s when I realized I didn’t know where I was in the apartment. Now I have a nine-year-old child in my arms. I am in full gear. I’m gear head to toe and it’s hot for me. Find a wall, find a door, find a window, find anything, all these thoughts are running through my head. I don’t know if it was God looking out for me, we got lucky, or what. But I found that front door and it happened to be the first door that I opened. Thank God this was a rescue and not a recovery.”

Chase got to meet the boy later. He said, “I think what was more rewarding was to actually get to meet the child after a full recovery in the hospital.”

“Saving life is our number one priority, that’s our mission,” Norfolk Fire Chief John DiBacco said.

Join us on for a live broadcast of the Valor Awards on Monday August 10 at 12:45 p.m.