St. Paul –
A house fire that could have ended with tragedy over the weekend instead shows how neighbors look out for one another. Around 2pm on Saturday, there was a large explosion on Baker Street and Hall Avenue in west St. Paul near Humboldt High School. Paul Warner and Israel Melendez were working on a truck when the incident occurred.
They came outside and saw all of the windows in their neighbor’s house blown out and a major fire burning. Mike Schultz was still inside. After unsuccessfully trying to kick the door down to rescue him, they went around back to where they could hear his calls for help. Melendez reached through the broken glass of the window and pulled Schultz to safety. “There was fire everywhere,” he said to The Pioneer Press. “I thought he was dead.”
Schultz survived with burns to his face, neck, and body. Things could have been much worse for the long time resident of the neighborhood. Known to many neighbors as “Sarge”, Schultz was always someone willing to help others in his community.
“Sarge has been here forever,” said Ricardo Rodriguez to KARE Ch11. “Come back with nothing, that’s going to hurt, but you know what, at least he’s still here.”
Some of the witnesses to the explosion and fire were quick to call Melendez and Warner heroes. They disagree, saying it was much more simple than that:
“It’s our neighbor,” Melendez said. “We’d do it for anybody.”