In the early morning hours of March 25, a house fire erupted on Arrow Route in Rancho Cucamonga, threatening the lives of four residents.
However, thanks to the heroic actions of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Silva Jr. and Deputy Jamaal Warren (the son of Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren), all of the people in the residence were able to escape the flames.
On July 21, the Rancho Cucamonga City Council held a special ceremony to commemorate the deputies for going above and beyond the call of duty to save lives.
Here is an account of the incident from the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department's Facebook page:
When the two deputies arrived at the location, they found the house fully engulfed in flames and saw a woman trapped on the second floor balcony.
Silva jumped over a chain link fence and ran to the house at the back of the property where the black smoke was coming from. He found a side entry door to the house, where he heard screams for help. When Silva entered the home, he found three residents on the first floor, who told him there was a fourth resident upstairs.
Silva ordered them out of the house and continued up the stairs, where he was confronted by heat, flames and heavy black smoke. His vision was impaired, so he placed his hands in front of him to feel his way through the second floor. He heard small explosions, which he believed were the windows breaking from the fire, and he knew he was running out of time.
As he looked down, he saw what appeared to be an ankle and grabbed a woman who apparently was standing in front of him. As he began escorting her out, she became limp and collapsed on him. Silva picked her up, placed her on his shoulders and carried her down the stairs.
However, Silva began having difficulty breathing and became lightheaded, and as he continued down the stairs, he fell. He managed to land on his back, sparing the woman.
When Silva yelled for help, he saw a hand in the midst of all the darkness and smoke and heard Warren call out his name. Warren pulled him and the woman from the stairs and escorted them out of the house.
Silva was transported to a hospital for treatment and was later released.