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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Azusa

Man Who Rescued 4-Year-Old From Fire Honored as Hero

January 28, 1998

An Azusa man called a hero by firefighters for saving a 4-year-old boy from a townhouse fire this month was honored Tuesday for bravery by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

On Jan. 11, Brian Birk heard the boy's mother, Sonora Ware, screaming for help and ran barefoot into the family's burning home on Point O Woods. Inside, a Christmas tree had burst into flames.

Although he could not see Marcus Ware through the thick smoke, Birk could hear the boy's cries and made his way up a staircase. Once there, he grabbed the boy and carried him to safety. The boy suffered second- and third-degree burns on his face, chest and hands and is recovering at County-USC Medical Center.

"I think anybody would have done it," Birk said during a ceremony at the Hall of Administration. "It's a humanity issue."

Supervisor Gloria Molina, who arranged the honor for Birk said: "Although Brian has refused to allow himself to be called a hero, the firefighters who responded to the incident have also commended him for his heroism, and indeed consider Brian a concerned citizen who deserves the title 'hero.' "

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