HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - City leaders recognized Hattiesburg firefighters for their efforts and hard work to keep the city safe.
Mayor Toby Barker and Fire Chief Paul Pressley presented twelve firefighters with certificates and medals before the council meeting Tuesday at City Hall.
"We are here to formally recognize a number of officers for their heroism, for their courage," said Barker. "When many people are running away from the problem, these folks are running towards it."
Pressley presented ten firefighters with Certificates of Commendation or Medals of Merit for their actions and quick response to the fire at the Howard Johnson on Highway 49. The fire broke out just before midnight on August 25th in one room and spread to another.
"We know the great job that our first responders do, but on this night in particular they really stepped up," Barker said. "In fact, everyone there talks about it, if our fire department hadn't been on the ball, we would've had four people who lost their life."
Three adults and a 15-month-old were transported to the hospital, suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. Officials said they were investigating electrical aspects that may have caused the fire.
"This is what we are accustomed to, but we should never get tired of saying thank you for it," said Barker.
Two firefighters were awarded the Medal of Valor.
William "Will" Lewis and Adrian Barham were called to assist a body recovery in Natchez, where they helped remove a body from a 150-foot bridge.