KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville's City Council honored the heroic actions of master firefighter Jeff Nichols.
Nichols was on his way to work on July 18th when he noticed a glow coming from a home near Fort Kid. Instead of continuing on to the fire house he decided to pull over and investigate.
Once on his feet he realized smoke was coming from a home on 11th Avenue.
Nichols knocked on the home’s door and got no response. He immediately recalled the home had several people living there, because he had met them the previous night during a fire alarm at an adjacent building.
"The occupants of the second house came out to look at the fire trucks and see what was going,” said Nichols, “so I remembered it was occupied from the shift before.”
The firefighter opened their unlocked door, dashed inside and started yelling, “fire department, get out, your house is on fire.”
Six college-aged students were sleeping inside and managed to get out safely.
“If Jeff hadn’t been coming in at that time a day,” said Assistant Chief Mark Morris, “just a few more minutes and that fire could have been a lot worse than it was."
Nichols was honored with a certificate from Mayor Bill Haslam, the city council and Knoxville Fire Department.