Lackawanna, N.Y. (WKBW) - “There are no words that we could use that would be enough to say how incredibly grateful we are,” said Yaser Soliman. The Soliman family was nearly torn apart when flames engulfed their apartment building in April.
Zaid is 3, Zainab is 5. They were nearly killed.
“We've had some pretty crazy stuff but I've never had anything like that,” recalled Brian Murphy. He and Nick Kasprzak ran into the burning building on Ingham Avenue with their thermal camera. They rescued Zaid's mother.
“About 10-15 seconds later, I heard Nick yell, ‘Murph! I got a baby, I got a baby,” said Muprhy.
“I carried out Zaid,” said Kasprzak. Seven people were sent to the hospital because of that fire.
Wednesday, those kids, along with Senator Tim Kennedy honored Kasprzak and Murphy, and the 9 other firefighters who worked that night with the State Senate Liberty medal. It’s the highest honor the New York State Senate can bestow.
The medal wasn't the reward for the first responders.
“I don't know how to explain it really. He's here. He's active. He's doing his thing and we helped him do that. He's here because we were there,” said Kasprzak.
“It brought tears to my eyes seeing them actually, because it's incredible,” said Murphy.
After spending months in the hospital, Zaid and Zainab are recovering well.
“They’re not completely out of their shell since the incident. They're doing a lot better. They're out there wreaking havoc on the world. They're just like any other three and five year old kid,” said Soliman.
Police believe the fire was set on purpose. They're looking to identify a person riding a bike with what appears to be a gas can. There is an $11,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.