Uber driver hailed as hero for helping people escape burning building: ‘He was so brave’

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 2:53 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (WCBS) - An Uber driver in New York is being called a hero after helping two people escape a fire in Brooklyn.

Fritz Sam said he was taking a passenger to LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday when he stopped his car to run into a burning building.

“When I thought there might be someone inside that building, there was something in me that couldn’t hold back, and I just had to go inside,” Sam said.

His passenger, Jemma Wei, was in awe of his heroism and the fact he even got her to the airport in time.

She snapped a photo of the flames pouring out of the second-floor window and said she and others on the street began yelling to alert residents of the fire.

“The fire looked pretty scary, so it looked like it might explode. I think he just thought it was very important to get everyone out,” Wei said.

Sam said firefighters arrived just as he was helping one of the tenants get outside.

“She [the tenant] told me she didn’t want to go, and I told her I am not leaving without you,” Sam said.

Firefighters responded to the scene at 8 a.m. and said crews had the flames under control within 30 minutes with no reports of injuries.

Wei said she believes if Sam had not selflessly run in to help, the outcome might have been much different.

“He managed to get people out, and he was so brave,” Wei said.

Uber released the following statement:

“We’re incredibly grateful to have such a heroic and thoughtful member of our community. He went above and beyond to keep his neighbors in New York safe and still managed to get his rider to the airport on time.”

Sam is married and a father of two. He said despite the risks of running into a burning building, he would do it again to save someone’s life.