Beaufort man awarded for saving dozens in Summerville apartment fire

By Ava

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) One of the men who leapt into action early one morning during an apartment fire and alerted residents to the danger was awarded by Summerville's town council.

It was the middle of the night when Tad Steadman and Mike Hassin say they did what they thought best.{} They went door to door inside the burning 900 units of the Westbury Mews apartments waking up people who were asleep.

The Summerville Town Council did what they thought best Wednesday night, honoring the men with awards for their bravery.

Only Tad Steadman was able to make it, but several people he likely saved, were there waiting.

"I can never express the gratitude that I feel to these young men for helping us out," said Denise Forehand, one of the women awakened by pounding on her front door.

"I thought, 'Like dude, what are you doing at my front door?,'" said Forehand. {}

Forehand says she followed their orders because she sensed their urgency. She says she had noticed the men earlier in the night, working on their cars in the parking lot.{} She had even considered telling them they were breaking apartment rules.

"Rules are meant to be broken for a reason. They never disturbed anyone, but on that night they were there to serve and save," she said. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Forehand says if it wasn't for Steadman, a friend who also lives in the complex may not have made it.

"She didn't have those extra minutes, I really may have lost a very, very, dear friend," she said.

"I wouldn't think twice about it," said Steadman.

He says he could never stand by and just watch.

"It's probably one of the nicest feelings I could ever not describe to anybody and I can even describe it," said Steadman. {}