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March 30, 2023

Fire chief honors citizen, mailman who helped on blaze

Hollister Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo on Monday presented the Citizen Recognition certificate to local resident Eric Cattoor and mail carrier Javier Ortega for “Distinguished Bravery” during the Nov. 13 fire in the 1000 block of Homestead Avenue.
The certificate presented to Cattoor noted how he noticed flames penetrating the wood roof, notified the residents and helped the family evacuate. The certificate refers to his actions as “life saving.” The fire chief credited the mail carrier, Ortega, with alerting neighboring residents to imminent dangers from the fire, and how it prompted others to help the effort.
Martin Del Campo noted how the two men disregarded their own safety in the ordeal.
“So real quick, as firefighters, we’re trained to do this. We were trained to run into these buildings,” the chief said. “These two gentlemen haven’t had that training, unless they do that at the post office and wherever you work.”
The chief said it was out of the character or the two residents’ professions, and the audience in the council meeting gave the men a standing applause.
Councilwoman Mickie Luna commented after the fire chief and mentioned how she lives two houses down from the fire in the 1000 block of Homestead Avenue.
“It was quite an evening,” Luna said. “And Javier, if you wouldn’t have knocked on our door, we would’ve never known the fire was going on two doors away from us.”