WTOC Military Salute: Tad Steadman - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Military Salute: Tad Steadman

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

One Marine at the Marine Corp Air Station Beaufort is beinghailed a hero after running into a burning building to save the lives of morethan 20 people.

"I'm not just going to call 911 and sit back and watcha building on fire. I'm going to make sure everybody get out," said LanceCpl. Tad Steadman.

Steadman works as an air traffic controller at the airstation. He said he joined the Marines for many reason, and one of those reasonswas to help others.

That's just what he did the morning of Feb. 17, when he anda friend ran into a burning apartment building at Westbury Mews apartments inSummerville, SC.  

"There was so much smoke you couldn't see. You couldn'tbreathe," said Steadman. "The vinyl had started melting off theceiling, and stuff had started falling off the ceiling."

He kept knocking on doors trying to wake people upand get them to understand what was happening.

"Nobody was awake. Nobody was even coherent when we gotto their door," he said.

One woman even screamed at him and slammed the door in hisface.

"Her living room was already gone, and she didn't evennotice it," he said.

He finally got through to her.

According to Summerville Fire Department, no one was hurt.

Steadman said his marine training helped, but it was hisinstincts that made him run into the building even though it could have costhim his life.

"There was no real danger to face in my eyes. I justwanted to make sure everybody got out," he said.

And they're glad he did.

"A lady came up to me and just started bawling in my arms and she gave mea hug and was like ‘thank you for saving my life,'" said Steadman."And I've never felt that way in my life."

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