Last month, while spending time together at their own apartment in Daegu, South Korea, Staff Sgt. Victor Gomoimunn and his wife, Nicole Lysiak, noticed smoke billowing out from the second floor of the building next to them.

The soldier went to investigate, and discovered a mother and her young child trapped on one of the floors.

Upon seeing the dark plume, Lysiak said her husband didn’t hesitate to run toward the potential danger. Bam. Up and out. In a flash.

“We know many of the residents in the neighborhood and when I looked up he was gone,” she said, according to the 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

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“The building was filled with black smoke,” said Gomoimunn, a petroleum supply specialist from Waterford, New York assigned to 339th Quartermaster Company. “I couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t breathe.” After a failed attempt of reaching the stairs due to heavy black smoke, Gomoimunn found a water pipe that ran up the side of the building near a third-floor window.

“I climbed up the pipe to a window on a third-floor balcony. It was locked but the woman was inside and she was able to unlock the window. Once inside I found them both in the living room,” he said.

Once inside, he led the woman, Sun Helmer, and her child through the smoke and to a balcony. His initial thought was to bring the two back down the pipe he had climbed, but was advised by an onlooker that the fire department was on its way, leading him to make the decision to wait.

“I really didn’t think I did anything, I just kept them company until the fire department came,” Gomoimunn said.