Streator, IL, Letter Carrier John Barickman was delivering a package recently when he saw smoke billowing from a neighboring home.
After noticing the fire was coming from the basement, Barickman ran to the front of the house and helped an older man escape.
Barickman tried to go into the house to help others, but it was too dangerous.
“There was so much smoke, I couldn’t breathe,” he told The Times.
Barickman and two other men stayed with the homeowner until police and firefighters arrived.
Although the homeowner is recovering, the fire killed two people who lived with him and a family dog.
“Physically, he’s doing fine [but] he still has grief,” the victim’s daughter told the newspaper.