Life
Bus driver recorded rushing into burning building to save kids
Not all heroes wear capes.
Eduardo Gaskell
11.26.21

It was in the evening of January 5 when bus driver Chanaye Brown rushed into a burning building to save all the residents inside. She’s been named“honorary chief of the day” by the Milwaukee Fire Department for her bravery.

Brown was driving along Route 12 when she noticed the fire from a window near 79th and Hampton in Milwaukee.

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It was late at night but Brown stopped the bus and rushed towards the burning apartment.

“I basically stopped the bus right there and hopped off the bus and ran up to the apartment building and started banging on the door, trying to ring the doorbell. I heard kids in there and I kind of panicked a little more. So that’s what made me start getting a little bit louder and just yelling and getting everybody’s attention,” Brown said.

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The residents were terrified and quickly evacuated once Brown got their attention. But when she heard kids’ voices, she quickly rushed inside the burning structure.

Brown attempted to use a fire extinguisher but it wasn’t working.

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Firefighters arrived on the scene, immediately putting out the fire. No one was hurt thanks to Brown, and the firefighters knew it.

“The Milwaukee Fire Department is proud of the actions and quick thinking of Chanaye Brown, resulting in minimal fire instead of what most likely would have been a full-fledged structure fire,” said Lieutenant Michael Ball, Community Relations Director for the Milwaukee Fire Department.

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“Because of her actions in calling the fire department first, alerting residents, and attempting to help extinguish the fire, not only was no one hurt, minimal damage occurred to the building — allowing the rest of the residents to return to their apartments rather than be displaced.”

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele also expressed his gratitude towards Brown and the others at MCTS. These are the men and women who dedicate their time and efforts in making sure the community is safe.

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Brown joined the Red Cross and firefighters, handing out smoke detectors as she was named “honorary chief of the day”.

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She said she did what any good mom would do,

“I just like to look at it like I was doing something that I would like somebody to do if it was my kids in that predicament. That’s how I feel any time I’m out here driving a route and I see or hear something going on. I just think about my kids and that’s what makes me do a lot of the things that I do.”

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Lieutenant Mike Ball of the Milwaukee Fire Department went on to emphasize the importance of fire safety as he spoke of smoke alarms and escape plans. At the end of the day, lives are more important.

Brown received a Community Hero Award during the Milwaukee Fire Department’s annual Meritorious Service Awards Ceremony.

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It wasn’t a planned or scheduled stop on her route, but Brown never hesitated when she saw the fire. She risked her own life to save others, and while she took a huge risk, it may have been the difference between life or death for the residents.

No cape, shield, or gadgets, but Chanaye is a hero! Watch the video below for more!

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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