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Denise Stugelmeyer and Megan Jackson, Gerber, CA

Smiling Rural Carrier and Retail Associate in front of U.S. flag
Gerber, CA, Rural Carrier Denise Stugelmeyer, left, and Retail Associate Megan Jackson

The workday was just getting underway recently at the Gerber, CA, Post Office when a crisis erupted.

As Rural Carrier Denise Stugelmeyer arrived for work, she saw that a vacant building across the street was in flames.

Stugelmeyer rushed into the Post Office to call 911, then she and Retail Associate Megan Jackson ran across the street to the burning building — worried that two homeless women who often slept there were in danger.

The Postal Service employees yelled for the women, one of whom woke up and escaped with her five dogs.

The woman assured Stugelmeyer and Jackson that no one else was inside at the time, and she became distraught over the likely loss of her possessions.

The duo comforted her until emergency responders arrived.

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