Camden, NJ—The Rutgers-Camden students who saved an elderly man from a March fire at his Cooper Street home were honored by the City of Camden Tuesday night.
Mayor Frank Moran awarded proclamations to Corey Zytko, Jonathan Perez-Gaytan, Matteo Resanovic, Vanessa Solis Palma, Sehwan Park and Tammy Meneses on Tuesday, June 12.
On the night of March 23, the students were hanging out in Resanovic's and Perez-Gaytan’s apartment on the university’s campus when they got a call from Solis Palma, Park and Meneses, who had just left the apartment to alert them of a fire a block away at 206 Cooper St.
“We were like, ‘Oh, let’s go check it out, it's a fire,’” said Zytko at the 41st Annual Camden County Firemen’s Association Firefighters Memorial Service on May 30, when they were awarded with the county firemen’s association Civilian Meritorious Award.
“So we just sprinted over there. We thought we were going to see fireman.”
However, when they arrived at the scene, they found no one. Not even anyone exiting the home.
“There was no thought process,” said Resanovic on May 30. He broke a window to gain access to the home and sprinted up to the third floor to see if anyone was home. Zytko ran to alert a nearby campus security officer of the fire.
“I just broke the windows, rain upstairs, and I immediately sprinted to the third floor. I was looking around, and I could see the fire bursting from underneath the door, and I pretty much said to myself, if anyone was in there, they’re pretty much gone,” said Resanovic. “I ran from the third floor down, sweeping the rooms and that’s when I ran into Corey, JP [Perez-Gaytan] and the old man.”