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Two South Bend Men Honored For Helping In Fire Rescue


Two men from South Bend received firefighter challenge coins from the Board of Public Safety for their help in saving people from an apartment fire last month. 

Board members say the men are the first civilians to ever recieve a firefighter challenge coin from the city.

Michael Sells was driving down Miami Street on Dec. 22nd when he noticed smoke coming from an apartment building. Sells and another man, Darnell Johnson went inside to alert everyone. Then used fire extinguishers before the fire department arrived.

The eight people who were in the building got out safely.

Interim Fire Chief Todd Skwarcan said the fire eventually cut off evacuation routes. He said it’s good the men stepped in when they did.

“Those quick actions and minutes that they saved before we got there had a very positive impact on the ability of those eight people to get out of that building.”

Sells said he didn’t think twice when he saw that people needed help.

“I wasn’t expecting anything out of it. I didn’t want anything out of it.”

Johnson was not able to attend the meeting. Sells accepted a coin on his behalf.

Contact Annacaroline at or follow her on Twitter at @AnnacarolineC16
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