By Patricia Villers
You never know when you’ll meet a hero.
What starts out as a relatively routine work day can turn into a day that leaves a reporter a bit frazzled, yes, but also in awe of an extraordinary act by an ordinary person.
Yesterday was just that day for me. I showed up at a fire scene in Derby Thursday afternoon not knowing it was as big a blaze as it was. Firefighters from Derby and Shelton were everywhere; two ladder trucks, Shelton’s Echo Hose and Derby’s Paugies, as well as a rather large crowd of onlookers and local media.
After learning that everyone in the six-family house on Olivia Street escaped unharmed, I was pointed toward an Ansonia man who had saved the life of Theresa Tiano, an elderly tenant .
Chris Esteves, 24, happened upon the fire scene on his way to an appointment. When he heard that an elderly woman was still inside her third-floor apartment he ran inside, up the stairs and knocked on her door. When she didn’t respond, he opened the door and got her. She told him she needed to grab her cane and they left the apartment.
He brought her downstairs and out the door, only hesitating to put a mat over their heads to protect them from falling debris.
What makes Esteves’ feat even more remarkable is the fact that in 2009 he assisted three Ansonia police officers in rescuing an elderly woman from a house fire.
Esteves, in his own quiet, soft-spoken way, demonstrates that he indeed wants to help other people.
And I for one am glad that I met him.
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