Letter Carrier Nathan Sies was delivering mail in March to a Whitewater, WI, group home for eight disabled residents when he noticed something worrisome:
There was a burning odor in the air and a smoke detector was beeping.
Sies knocked on the main door and alerted a customer, who called 911 just as they saw smoke rising from a cardboard box leaning against a wall-mounted heater nearby.
The Postal Service employee safely carried the box outside while another customer retrieved a fire extinguisher and put out the flames.
Emergency responders soon arrived to provide further assistance.
“With several residents wheelchair-bound, it could have been disastrous if he had not taken action and moved the box outside,” police Lt. David Gempler said later. “Sometimes you need the right person at the right time, and this time it happened to be Nathan.”