He knew there were people inside and he knew – given the size of the fire – he had to get them out. Said Lopez, “You could see the flames and it didn’t look good.
As soon as I exited my cruiser, people started pointing to the building and yelling that there were still people inside.” Given the gravity of the situation, Lopez, a 12 year veteran of the Boston Police Department, did not hesitate.
“I immediately entered the building and started knocking on doors, kicking doors in and ordering people to evacuate the building.” Fire officials estimate the damage done to the triple-decker on Montello Street at over $500,000. But, thanks to Officer Lopez, material items, items measured in dollars and cents, were the only casualties of the fire. Said Lopez,
“I’m just happy everybody got out alive. One guy was sound asleep when I kicked in his door. I know I startled him but I’m just glad we got him out.” When asked if he considered himself a hero, Officer Lopez answered promptly,
“While I appreciate the compliment. I’m not a hero. I’m a police officer. This is what we do. This is what we signed up for and I’m grateful I was able to make a difference today.” According to fire officials, the fire on Montello Street displaced 18 people, including four children.