SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday presented San Francisco firefighter William Mulkeen with the Medal of Valor for his heroics on Jan. 1, 2011, saving an elderly couple from a fire in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood.

“What I did, I feel was something I had to do, something that I was trained to do and these people were really suffering in that fire,” he reflected back on his precarious climb across a “ladder bridge” to reach the man and woman, who were trapped on the third floor of the building, which was by that time fully engulfed in flames.

The surrounding streets were clogged with New Year’s traffic, keeping firefighters from pulling a truck flush alongside the building, making the “ladder bridge” necessary.

Once Mulkeen reached the trapped people, he wrapped them in his firefighting jacket and carried them, one by one, to safety.

Megan Goldsby Reports:

“We honor individuals who have been courageous, who set aside their own self preservation and went that extra mile,” Brown said as he presented the Medal of Valor to Mulkeen and two Southern California firefighters during the Sept. 13 ceremony.

The Medal of Valor is California’s highest public safety award.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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