An Uber driver is being hailed as a hero after he stopped mid-ride to rush into a burning brownstone in New York City to help rescue people before firefighters arrived.
On Wednesday, while Uber driver Fritz Sam was taking a passenger to LaGuardia Airport, he saw a brownstone on fire in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, NBC New York reported.
“We looked and I saw fire coming out of the second-floor apartment,” Sam recalled to the CW affiliate WPIX. “It looked pretty serious because the flames were already shooting out of the window.”
So Sam immediately pulled over and got out the car.
“Together we just started shouting, ‘Is anyone inside?’ Screaming at the top of our lungs, ‘Come out, come out, there’s a fire,'” he told WPIX. And with no response, he decided to run inside to make sure.
As it turned out, Sam’s intuition was spot-on. Once inside the building, he helped rescue two people, a man and a woman, Uber confirms to PEOPLE.
“All I wanted to do was do the right thing, display some courage,” Sam told NBC New York. “I was afraid, but there was a moment where I had to put it aside and focus on the task.”
Once firefighters arrived on the scene, Sam jumped right back into his car.
“It was surreal, but we got to the airport on time,” he told WPIX.
Opening up about the experience on social media, passenger Jemimah Wei shared that Sam was surprisingly casual about the whole thing.
“He emerged from the building all like, ‘hey, do I smell of smoke?’ I was like, ‘Sir, you just saved someone’s life????’ And he was like, ‘oh, ya,’ Wei wrote on Twitter.
He emerged from the building all like, hey, do I smell of smoke? I was like Sir you just saved someone's life???? And he was like, oh, ya.
— Jemimah James Wei / ??? (@jemmawei) August 17, 2022
Afterwards, Uber praised the driver, who’s been with them since 2015.
“We’re incredibly grateful to have such a heroic and thoughtful member of our community in Fritz,” a spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Today, he went above and beyond to keep his neighbors in New York safe – and still managed to get his rider to the airport on time.”
In fact, Sam was even honored in Uber’s 2022 Yearbook, which celebrates some of their most inspiring drivers and couriers.
Meet hometown hero Fritz Sam, New York City, who momentarily interrupted an airport ride – to run into a burning building and rush people to safety!
Welcome to our first-ever Uber Yearbook highlighting some of the most inspiring people in the Uber community. pic.twitter.com/cLVeK3J3iI
— Uber (@Uber) August 19, 2022
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi even called to thank him.
“I spoke to this @Uber hero,” Khosrowshahi wrote on Twitter. “People are good indeed.”
I spoke to this @Uber hero – he was thankful that someone helped move his car – all the while he was the one who ran into the building! And he made sure to get to the flight on time. People are good indeed ??. https://t.co/wIqFEddcfU
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) August 17, 2022
“If your family was in a burning building, you wouldn’t hesitate,” he told WPIX. “All I did was say, ‘Wait a minute, that may not be my family, but that’s somebody’s family.'”