City leaders gathered Thursday morning at Engine No. 14 in Providence to recognize a firefighter's courageous act that puts him in the running for a national award.
Like a fabled heroic tale, Jermaine Woods saved a man, a woman and their baby from a burning building in November.
"A young child and her mom may not have survived if he wasn't there at the right time," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare.
Woods was the recipient of Liberty Mutual's Firemark award, which recognizes acts of heroism across the country.
Woods was off duty and in Pawtucket on Nov. 5 when he heard an explosion on Mineral Spring Avenue. The blast ripped the top floor off a multifamily home. The explosion injured a man and his baby and nearly trapped the mother inside. Woods brought them all to safety.
"We don't stop and thank them enough. It's truly a difficult job. It's a job not everyone can do," Pare said.
"It's very overwhelming. I'm speechless," Woods said.
Woods is as humble as he is heroic. He barely said a word about his own actions. Instead, he thanked his fellow firefighters.
"Thankful for all the guys I work with. It's a great department," Woods said.
The award puts Woods in the running for a national award to be selected in April. If he wins, the Providence Fire Department gets $10,000.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
The city of Pawtucket believes the owner of the building may have improperly installed a furnace. It is taking the issue to court in March.
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