New Haven Public Works employees hailed heroes after rescuing family from fire on Shelton Avenue

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn., (WTNH) — New Haven Department of Public Works (DPW) workers are being hailed heroes after they helped rescue a family from a burning home Tuesday morning.

Just after 5 a.m., flames erupted at a home on the 300 block of Shelton Avenue. DPW workers tell News 8 at the same time, they were collecting trash and heard a little boy crying for help.

They coached him onto the roof, caught him and his grandmother.

“We told him ‘jump, jump, we’re going to catch you, it’s ok, jump,” and he finally gets the courage and he jumps between me and my coworker, Robert Rolls. We catch him at the same time,” said New Haven DPW Refuse Driver Joel Rodriguez. “You got a child screaming, how do you handle that? You just have to help. It’s a child. He’s helpless. What do we do, we just got to be there for them when we can.”

New Haven Fire Department responded to the fire at 5:30 a.m. According to officials, the fire started in the kitchen. There were three adults and three children in the house during that time. All six residents escaped the building.

Officials said the house is not liveable, so the residents are now without a home.

“The garbage men were heroes because they caught my grandson and they caught me,” said Juanita Bryant, who was rescued from the home. “I don’t know where we are going to live tomorrow. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re all alive to figure it out.”

Two of the DPW workers were hurt after helping the residents off the roof. But believe it or not, Rodriguez finished his shift.

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