Beloit man honored as Carnegie Hero for saving family in 2019

He was 1 of 17 across the U.S. & Canada to receive the honor
Luis Mendoza is honored for his bravery by the Beloit Fire Dept. on July 1, 2019.
Luis Mendoza is honored for his bravery by the Beloit Fire Dept. on July 1, 2019.(Beloit Fire Dept.)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 12:22 PM CDT
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BELOIT, Wis. (WMTV) - A Beloit man earned international recognition for his heroism in saving a mother and her two children from a burning apartment last year.

On Tuesday, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Luis Mendoza was named a Carnegie medal, which is described as the highest honor for civilian heroism across the U.S. and Canada. It is presented to individuals who risk their lives trying to save the lives of others who are in mortal danger.

Mendoza is one of just 17 people honored this year. (Full List)

In congratulating Mendoza for winning the award, the Beloit Fire Dept. recounted the dramatic events that followed when he was awakened on May 24, 2019, by the sounds of a fire outside his home. With smoke and flames moving in, the fire department explains, Mendoza ran to a basement apartment of the duplex where the mom and her children were sleeping.

By that time, the fire had reached the stairwell, so Mendoza smashed a small, basement window and helped the family through.

As life-saving instincts didn’t stop there, either. The fire department added Mendoza raved through that burning stairwell to find his dog. He wasn’t able to locate the pup before the blaze forced him from the home. Happily, the dog had escaped and made it back home later that evening.

Not long after the fire, on July 1, the Beloit Fire Dept. presented Mendoza with its citizen citation for bravery for his heroism.

We want to sincerely congratulation Luis Mendoza on receiving a Carnegie Medal - the highest honor for civilian heroism...

Posted by City of Beloit Fire Department on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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