A San Francisco firefighter was honored with the California Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor this week for his 2011 rescue of two elderly people trapped in a burning building.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris presented the award on Thursday to Firefighter William Mulkeen, state officials said.
Mulkeen and other San Francisco firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire in a three-story apartment building at 925 Montgomery St. around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2011.
When it arrived on the scene, Mulkeen’s fire truck was unable to park and deploy its high rise ladder, and fire crews could see two elderly people waving for help from a third story window, according to the governor’s office.
Mulkeen, his captain and another firefighter used a 24-foot ladder and rope to create a bridge over an alley to an adjacent building, but the trapped people were too scared to crawl across the bridge.
Mulkeen crawled across the ladder multiple times, wrapped each person in his coat and carried them back across the ladder, successfully rescuing both.
Both residents’ lives were saved as a result of Mulkeen’s actions, the governor’s office said.
At least 45 people were displaced as a result of the fire.