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It’s not every day your Uber driver stops the car to don a cape and become a hero. OK, there wasn’t a cape, but there was certainly a hero. Recently, Fritz Sam was driving for Uber and he was on his way to drop his passenger off at LaGuardia Airport when he noticed flames spilling out of a brownstone window. Instead of continuing his route, he stopped to help.
You may be thinking, “What about the passenger?” Well, Sam consulted with his passenger before leaping into action. The passenger was Jemimah Wei, a 29-year-old writer, and she helped Sam yell up to the second story window to check for people still inside. Sam told PIX11, “Together we just started shouting, ‘Is anyone inside?’ Screaming at the top of our lungs, ‘Come out, come out, there’s a fire.’ I think I just made a decision at that moment to just go inside.” According to The Washington Post, when Sam made it into the building he saw a man and a woman, but the woman refused to move when he urged her to evacuate.
\u201con the way to the airport this morning and drove by a burning building, my Uber driver LEAPT out of the car and INTO the building while the rest of us screamed at the top of our lungs for people to evacuate, the fire truck came, we rushed to airport, I made my flight. NEW YORK.\u201d
— Jemimah James Wei / \u9b4f\u4fe1\u5b50 (@Jemimah James Wei / \u9b4f\u4fe1\u5b50)
Sam told The Washington Post that convincing the woman to leave “took a little bit of negotiating.” He told her, “I’m not leaving without you. If you’re not leaving, I’m not leaving.” He told the publication that the woman eventually left with him and made it safely outside. But Sam wasn’t done, the man was still inside, so Sam went back in a second time.
Eventually, Sam was able to guide the man to safety, telling PIX11, “I held his arm because he was a little wobbly and we just walked to the front door. The officer was there. The first firefighter was coming through the door with a hose. So the professionals are here. I’m gonna get out.”
Thankfully, everyone was able to get out of the building safely and no one was injured in the fire, according to multiple news sources. Saving the people in the building was a community effort. Without realizing it, Sam gave his cellphone to a stranger before running into the building and he left his car in the road in front of a fire hydrant, he explained to CNBC.
According to CNBC, a stranger realized Sam’s car was blocking the hydrant and was able to get his keys to move the car down the street. His phone was also returned and, surprisingly, he hopped back in his car to drop his passenger off at the airport.
Funnily enough, Sam apologized to Wei for the delay and was concerned he smelled like smoke, but Wei wasn’t concerned, according to The Washington Post. “Firstly, you smell fine,” Wei recalled telling him. “And secondly, you just saved a life. Maybe multiple.”
Even after saving people from a burning building, Sam was still providing excellent customer service. Yes, she still made it in time for her 10 a.m. flight, because of course she did. What an amazing story!