Plays That Matter: Meet the Vestavia senior noseguard who helped lady escape a fire

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 9:46 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -WBRC is bringing you the Plays That Matter. This week a Vestavia football player used his instincts to potentially save a life.

John Michael Chandash is being deemed a hero in the Mountain Brook Community after alerting his grandmother’s neighbor her house was on fire.

On the gridiron, Chandash has to have quick reaction time and it was no different in August when he saw smoke coming from a house in Mountain Brook.

“I did not see any firetruck out front so I knew it was not a good combination,” Chandash said.

Staying calm he alerted the woman who was asleep on her couch.

“So that’s when I kind of screamed through the door, your house is on fire,” Chandash said.

Chandash’s heroic act got Nelda Pugh to safety.

“I didn’t tell anyone because I feel weird trying to reap the attention from this.,” Chandash said.

But Mountain Brook’s mayor couldn’t ignore what the noseguard did.

They presented a Medal of Valor to Chandash for his bravery.

“I can’t wait to put it on my desk, or show my children and grandchildren what I did,” Chandash said.

The real reward he says? The memory he’ll have of Ms. Pugh reuniting with her family after the fire.

“Is going to have a much greater impact than any medal, any congratulations or any material that I’ll receive for the rest of my life,” Chandash said.

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