2 National City police officers credited with saving woman's life

They ran into burning home to rescue woman

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - 10News tracked down two National City police officers who are being called heroes after they pulled a woman out of her burning home.

Several National City firefighters surprised Cpl. Mark Segal and Officer Charles Stevens with a hero's welcome at police headquarters Friday night as they were beginning their graveyard shift.

They are being credited with saving the life of a wheelchair-bound woman. The two pulled her from her National City home in the 1800 block of I Avenue after it caught on fire from candles placed around her room.

"There was a lot of smoke, you could feel the heat and you could see the female on the floor by the doorway, so the thought was just get her out of the house,” said Segal.

Segal and Stevens were the first to arrive on scene and without giving it a second thought, ran inside with no protection and risked their lives in hopes of saving another.

"Luckily, where she was we were able to just force the door open enough to wiggle in and pull her out," said Stevens.

"It's definitely heroic," said Battalion Chief James Styles, who is with the National City Fire Department. "It is very dangerous. It is a pretty noble thing to do. There's a lot of heat, a lot of smoke and not having any protection … we go in with some of the best protection money can buy, really."

To the two National City officers, they were just doing their job. Heroes are something they say they are not.

"I think there's a lot more people that should take credit for that kind of stuff, such as people fighting overseas for us and those type of people," said Stevens.

Firefighters say if the woman would have been in that house for another 45 seconds, she would not be alive. It is that quick thinking that made the difference between life and death.

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