"It's something anyone would do in that situation," Steve Shipman said

By Tiare Dunlap
October 14, 2015 03:45 PM
Courtesy NALC

Oklahoma postman Steve Shipman was working his normal route on the morning of Feb. 4, when he came across a house on fire.

The Miami, Oklahoma, native called 911 and then ran towards the burning home to make sure no one was still inside, Tulsa World reports.

The front windows burst as flames escaped from the side of the house.

“I didn’t know a structure could burn like that,” Shipman told the news outlet.

When neighbor Sherman Alberty arrived to the scene, the two men heard screams coming from inside the house. They ran to the back of the house where they discovered an 11-year-old girl trapped inside.

Shipman found a 2×4 piece of lumber and Alberty used it to break the window and clear the jagged glass from the window frame.

“We knocked out the windows with a board,” Alberty told the Vinita Daily Journal. “Then we cleaned out the glass and pulled her out of the window. I asked her if there was anyone else in the house, and she said no.”

Minutes after the daring rescue, Shipman continued his mail route, delivering the rest of that day’s letters while still covered in soot and smelling of smoke.

Even though Shipman kept the story of the his daring rescue to himself, the next day, details of his and Alberty’s good deed appeared on the front page of the Vinita Daily Journal.

The National Association of Letter Carriers took note and presented the veteran postman of 25 years with its Western Region Hero award in a ceremony on Oct. 8. Shipman was one of eight letter carriers to be honored for acting heroically in the face of danger.

“When it comes to something like this, I don t know how to accept it very well,” Shipman told Tulsa World, adding that Alberty deserved at least half the recognition.

“We were fortunate because we heard [the girl] holler. Everything fell into place,” Shipman added. “It’s something anyone would do in that situation.”