Firefighter suspended for running into burning home alone to rescue 94-year-old woman

ATLANTA — An Atlanta firefighter ran into a burning building to save a 94-year-old woman. Now, he's being punished for violating policy.

Fire officials said Capt. Danny Dwyer didn't follow proper procedure when he went inside the a home by himself and pulled Sally Skrine through a window. Skrine later died of her injuries.

According to police, Dwyer was supposed to wait for his crew to enter the home. But Dwyer could see Skrine through the window and knew time was of the essence.

His punishment was an unpaid suspension.

Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in southwest Atlanta, where the community is rallying around Dwyer. People who loved Skrine are happy he at least tried to save her.

Vincent Parker remembers the day his neighbor's home on Collier Drive caught fire. It was June 28 of last year. Parker said he just prayed that Skrine made it out of her home alive.

“She was a valuable member of the community. She went to Jackson Memorial Church. She had a food bank service,” Parker said. “She used to do hair in her basement, as well.”

Parker said Skrine was always helping strangers, so they found it fitting when Dwyer went out of his way to help her.

"I mean, that's what heroes do. Sometimes you might forget procedure. You just jump into action. So I'm surprised by that right there," Parker said.

The Atlanta Fire Department sent Fernandes a statement, reading:

“The disciplinary process for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is designed to encourage safety and order. It also seeks to establish clear expectations in both emergency and non-emergency situations.”

People in the community want officials to change their mind about Dwyer's suspension.

“I would commend them for not suspending this young man for being what he is, a hero,” Parker said.

They’ve started a GoFundMe page for the fire captain. Dwyer’s friends told Fernandes he plans to donate the money to charity.