ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Wednesday’s fire on Grand Street in Albany caused 15 people to lose their homes. No one was injured though, thanks to the work of some brave employees at the Department of General Services.

“By the time we turned the corner the fire was all the way up, it was like a chain reaction so fast,” Kenneith Carter said. “At that time, I’m just proceeding calmly to the situation, you know, it’s a fire, but then I heard the children screaming and all that and my fight or flight kicked in.” 

That fight or flight response is what led Carter to save over a dozen lives. He was working the night shift with the Department of General Services when he and his coworker saw multiple apartment buildings engulfed in flames on Grand St. He quickly went to work waking people up and evacuating the building. 

“It came from me banging on the door to me hearing voices to me knowing the fire is eating at the back,” Carter said. “So it went from that to me kicking on the doors to get them out.”

His heroic actions leading to no injuries in a destructive fire that destroyed four buildings in the Mansion District. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan also thanked them at the press conference. 

“Personnel from the [Albany] Police Department and the Department of General Services happened to be in this area when this fire was discovered and it was through their efforts that lives were likely saved,” Sheehan said.

Carter hopes to carry this throughout his life, bringing positivity and helping others; something he says anyone can do. 

“Life knocks you down a lot, it’s up to you to get back up and the only failure in life is not trying,” Carter said. “I don’t have the qualifications to be a firefighter, but I know what it’s like to save myself and my family so I did what I had to do.”