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Michael Ochs, St. Paul, MN

Male letter carrier
St. Paul, MN, Letter Carrier Michael Ochs

St. Paul, MN, Letter Carrier Michael Ochs recently delivered mail to a house where he was accustomed to the fresh scent of fabric softener emanating from the dryer vent.

But on this particular day, the vent emitted a pungent odor, as well as smoke instead of steam.

Ochs spoke to the neighbor next door, who promised to contact the homeowner. When the Postal Service employee returned to his vehicle after several more deliveries, the neighbor said he’d been unable to reach anyone.

Ochs approached the home to knock on the front door, and saw smoke pouring out from inside. The homeowner then emerged from the garage, seemingly unaware of the fire, and called 911.

The postal employee asked the neighbor to get a jacket for the visibly shaken homeowner, whom they comforted until firefighters arrived.

“As letter carriers, we are very much part of our community because we are in the neighborhoods each and every day,” Ochs said later.

“I just did what anyone else in my situation would have done.”

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