Jonathon Baez

A 25-year-old Mesa, Arizona, painter leaped into action Feb. 18, 2022, after seeing smoke issuing from a Mesa apartment building. As Carnegie Hero Jonathon Baez approached the building, he learned that at least one child remained inside a second-floor apartment. After dire conditions prohibited him from entering the apartment at its front door, he went to the rear of the building, climbed to the roof of a storage shed, removed a window frame from a bedroom window 12 feet from the ground, and jumped up, grasping the base of the window sill and pulling himself partially through the opening. Baez found a 2-year-old girl just inside the window, pulled her to him and retreated, handing her off to a police officer nearby. After learning that her 6-year-old sister also remained in the apartment, Baez pulled himself to the window opening again, fully entered the bedroom and searched for the girl despite heavy smoke. Crawling, he found the girl in a closet, about 10 feet from the window opening. Holding her hand, he led her to the window and handed her down to another police officer. He then exited through the window to safety.