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Philadelphia firefighter reportedly catches heat for rescue efforts

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

A Philadelphia firefighter who rescued a woman during a warehouse fire will reportedly be investigated for giving her his breathing mask as they fled the blaze.

Fran Cheney said he was criticized for his actions by a top fire department official for the rescue of Mary Jackson from a warehouse in the city’s Kensington section on Wednesday. After locating Jackson in a nearby second-floor bedroom, where she was gasping for breath in a smoke-choked room, Cheney gave the woman his mask.

"I take a quick breath, rip my helmet off, give her the mask – it's on positive pressure, which means it just blows smoke away from her – and I just say, 'Let's go,'" Cheney told the website.

Cheney carried the woman to safety, risking his own life in the process.

"If I was worried about that, I wouldn't be here, and neither would any of these guys that I work with," Cheney said. "That's what we do. That's who we are."

Later, during a bedside visit at an area hospital, a top fire department official told Cheney his actions were not “very smart,” he said.

Cheney, who also gave Jackson $500 in his overtime pay to get her back on her feet, said he’d do the same thing again.

“You know, at that time I'm not worrying about directives,” he told the website. “I'm not worrying about paperwork. I'm worrying about this woman and a family worrying about her, whether she's alive in that house right now."

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