Hero Bus Driver Named Honorary Fire Chief After Rushing Into Burning Building to Save Kids

Chanaye Brown was driving her bus route on Jan. 5 when she saw flames coming from an apartment building and sprung into action.

Chanaye Brown started her route as a normal bus driver and ended it as a hero.

Brown, a Milwaukee County Transit System bus driver, was honored for her bravery and named “honorary chief of the day” by the Milwaukee Fire Department Thursday, CBS affiliate WDJT reported

The honor stems from Brown's heroic actions on Jan. 5. She was driving her route when she saw flames coming from an apartment building's window.

As a passenger on her bus called 911, Brown rushed to the door and started alerting residents to the emergency.

"I basically stopped the bus right there and hopped off the bus and ran up to the apartment building and started banging on the door, trying to ring the doorbells," Brown said. "I heard kids in there and I kind of panicked a little more. So that's what made me start getting a little bit louder and just yelling and getting everybody's attention."

Brown even ran into the building and tried to use a fire extinguisher to put the fire out herself. 

Firefighters arrived on the scene soon after. Thanks to Brown's quick thinking, no one was hurt and the damage to the building wasn't as bad as it could have been, said Lt. Michael Ball, community relations director for the Milwaukee Fire Department.

"The Milwaukee Fire Department is proud of the actions and quick thinking of Chanaye Brown, resulting in minimal fire instead of what most likely would have been a full-fledged structure fire,” Ball said during the ceremony. “Because of her actions in calling the fire department first, alerting residents, and attempting to help extinguish the fire, not only was no one hurt, minimal damage occurred to the building — allowing the rest of the residents to return to their apartments rather than be displaced. We commend Chanaye for her quick and decisive action in stepping up and helping when the situation arose."

But Brown said she just did what any good mom would. 

"I just like to look at it like I was doing something that I would like somebody to do if it was my kids in that predicament," Brown said. "That's how I feel any time I'm out here driving a route and I see or hear something going on. I just think about my kids and that's what makes me do a lot of the things that I do."