Dartmouth's first responders are being hailed as heroes today after rescuing a woman from her burning home on Tucker Road early Monday morning.

The fire at 673 Tucker Road was first spotted at about 8:30 a.m. Monday by several neighbors across the street who notified the fire department. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the flames were leaping from what appeared to be a front living room area.

At least one neighbor, knowing that an elderly woman lived in the house, kicked in the front door in an attempt to save her. The fire was too intense. A post by Dartmouth Police to their Facebook page credited firefighters, police, and EMT's with saving the woman's life. "Their quick response and selfless acts of heroism were directly responsible for saving the life of an individual trapped inside of the house," police wrote.

Firefighters say the woman was alive and breathing when she was evacuated from the house and transported to the hospital. We don't know much about her condition as of this writing. A pet dog perished in the fire.

We hear the word "hero" frequently these days. Athletes, performers, politicians are all considered heroes by those who worship them. For my money, a hero is a cop or a firefighter or an EMT who is willing to risk it all by entering an inferno to save a woman who is trapped inside.

We see heroism often with our area first responders. They don't get sneaker contracts or Academy Awards. In fact, most times their heroism goes unreported. It's part of the job. Nothing special – or so they think. We notice, and we think it is pretty special.

We witnessed heroism on Tucker Road on Monday. We saw it on Thanksgiving on Washburn Street in New Bedford and at Jackson's Variety Store in Fairhaven in February.

Thank you to all first responders for what you do daily. It does not go unnoticed and it is certainly appreciated.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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