Bronx Man, Now Hero, 'Rescues' Child From Fire But Fireman Did Actual Rescue : The Two-Way Horia Cretan, the Romanian immigrant store owner who went up the fire escape of a burning Bronx tenement building certainly deserves credit for helping to rescue a four-year old boy who was overcome by smoke. But in the rush to lionize a new cit...
NPR logo Bronx Man, Now Hero, 'Rescues' Child From Fire But Fireman Did Actual Rescue

Bronx Man, Now Hero, 'Rescues' Child From Fire But Fireman Did Actual Rescue

Horia Cretan, the Romanian immigrant store owner who went up the fire escape of a burning Bronx tenement building certainly deserves credit for helping to rescue a four-year old boy who was overcome by smoke.

It makes for great TV. CNN has been showing the video much of the day, for instance.

But in the rush to lionize a new citizen hero, some of my media colleagues appear to be neglecting the role played by the New York Fire Department. It was, after all, a firefighter wearing a respirator who was inside the apartment and found the boy and brought him to the window.

As the Associated Press reported:

A firefighter handed him a limp, unconscious 4-year-old. Using a curtain as a shield from falling debris, Cretan carried the boy to safety.

Cretan was on Good Morning America today where, in another dramatic move, he proposed to his girlfriend. She accepted. What else can you do on live TV?

Anyway, this is clearly a feel-good story, with the child recovering at a hospital.

There's a saying: never let the facts get in the way of a good story. This is one where the fact that a firefighter was actually the rescuer may be getting in the way of this particular feel-good story.

It's arguably less dramatic to have the firefighter be the rescuer since that's his job. But it appears that's what happened.