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Editorial: Here’s to 3 real heroes!


A water utility worker, a fireman and a police officer.

Each responded quickly to an early morning apartment complex fire on Glorieta NE near Central and Eubank on June 13, roused the residents, including two babies, a toddler and several dogs, and helped them to safety. Luckily no one was injured.

James Baca, who works for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, was on his way to work when he heard an explosion and saw a ball of fire shoot into the sky.

Darrell R. Lindsey, fire division chief for Bernalillo County Fire Department, also was headed to work when he smelled smoke, called the Albuquerque Fire Department and headed in the direction of the smoke.

Albuquerque police officer Robert Mitchell’s graveyard shift was nearly over and he, too, responded to the fire that destroyed the eight-unit apartment complex. Some of the residents were in the city’s Heading Home program that helps homeless people get off the street, out of shelters and into their own apartments.


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The American Red Cross in New Mexico sent disaster team staff members and volunteers and provided hotel stays and money for food.

Baca, Mitchell and Lindsey are three reasons why New Mexicans can be grateful to the public servants who step up to help others with no regard to their own schedules and safety.

Thank you, gentlemen.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.