Local hero recognized nationally - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Local hero recognized nationally

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Nicole Gerber

PROVIDENCE - A local hero made it to the finals in a national firefighter contest - recognized for saving a family from a burning apartment building in Pawtucket.

Tonight, for the first time, we hear from the woman he rescued.

Veteran firefighter Jermaine Woods was off duty but ended up at the right place, at the right time.

An explosion triggered a massive fire in an apartment in Pawtucket last November and that's when he sprung into action, saving two adults and their nine month old baby. Now, 6 months later, you'd never guess the little one suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

Her mother, Rubi Olivares is still recovering from the explosion that destroyed her apartment on Mineral Spring.

"Just trying to reconnect with reality, and take care of her," she said through tears.

She's still here, all because of Providence firefighter Jermaine Woods. He risked his own life saving them, and the baby's father, from the fire that engulfed their home.

"We talk a lot, he came to the baby's birthday party, he came to christmas, we went to the fire station to have lunch with him and his co–workers," she said.

Woods' heroic acts have been recognized both locally, and nationally. He ended up a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Firemark Award, highlighting firefighters who best represent their communities through courageous valor and selflessness. They released a youtube video telling his story, complete with interviews from some of the people who know him best.

"You all don't know Jermaine like we do, but you know there was never a second guess, second doubt." said Lt. Joseph Plante of the Providence Fire Department in the video. "Out on the street, he's one of the most compassionate people you'll ever want to meet."

"I can't think of anyone else who deserves the award more than him, he's definitely the most amazing man I've ever met," said Olivares.

Jermaine Woods was one of four finalists for the Firemark award. Though he wasn't one of the two ultimate winners... to Rubi Olivares and her daughter... he's the biggest hero of all.

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