The Human Fire Ladder

Modest man Darts to the rescue

NT: Rather than call a friend on your cell phone to tell him what she looked like while she was burning. So, do you think you'll keep in touch with these people you saved?

Dart: I never really thought about that. They're kind of like strangers. The mom called me a couple of times to thank me, but I just never really got around to talking to her.

NT: Have you seen them since?

All fired up: Quick-thinking warehouse worker Steve Dart denies he's a hero.
Kevin Scanlon
All fired up: Quick-thinking warehouse worker Steve Dart denies he's a hero.

Dart: Oh. Well, when we got certified by the fire department, I saw them then. But not since then.

NT: Certified as what?

Dart: I don't know. Well, the people at the fire station said it was for saving somebody's life. We just went down there to get appreciated, you know. We got some kind of certificate for what we did.

NT: So you're a hero.

Dart: No way, man. I don't see myself as a hero. A hero is someone who saves someone's life and dies doing it. I just did a good deed, you know? I would expect someone to do it for me, if I was hanging out and my house just started to go up in flames.

NT: How is your life different now?

Dart: Well, people say, "Hey, you did a good job!" And we were in a bunch of newspapers and on the TV. The Glendale paper, they had a real big article. With a caption and everything. I don't see myself getting famous or anything off of this, but I thought maybe like David Letterman would call. But even if he did, it wouldn't be like I was famous. If they made a movie out of this, you know, they would just hire actors to play the guys in the story, so nobody would really know who we are. So the actor would be more in the spotlight, you know, than me. No one would know it was me. It would be like "based on a true story," but then you never see the real guy. Like in Saving Private Ryan. Except that guy died at the end and I didn't.

NT: Do you want to be fireman?

Dart: I've had thoughts about it, but you know, I don't know. It's a 24-hour thing, but what if something was on fire and you didn't feel like going to put it out? You know? And what if I quit my job to be a fireman and then at the end it turned out I didn't like it? That would be a drag. Plus a major risk.

NT: What is your day job?

Dart: I'm a warehouse worker. I pull produce for Fry's, at a Kroger's warehouse.

NT: Have you thought about going into business, rescuing things with your friends? You could retrieve cats caught in trees, or retrieve Frisbees from rooftops.

Dart: I've thought about it, and I've done roof work before, so I wouldn't have no problem climbing up on roofs. I was thinking about if this could be a business, but I kind of doubt if there would be enough to make an occupation out of it. That's why they invented ladders, you know.

NT: Can I call you guys if my house catches fire?

Dart: No way! That's what the fire department is for.

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