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Firefighters, officer to be honored for rescuing young girl

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The City of Utica on Wednesday will honor seven firefighters and a police officer for entering a burning building with no regard for their own life and rescuing a four-year-old girl inside.

On Friday, February 22, a fire began in an apartment at Adrean Terrace in east Utica. Black smoke billowed from the windows as a firefighter ran out the the front door carrying the limp, lifeless body of young Halima Haji. Haji spent a week at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and is already back home with her family, with no signs of long-term damage.

The fire happened within the district of Utica City Councilman Joe Marino. Marino knows the firefighters and police officers don't want or need accolades, but he thinks they deserve them.

"I want people to see that there are legitimate heroes right here in central New York and specifically Utica and I think that they deserve an applause," says Marino.

The city has invited the firefighters' and police officers' chiefs and families to Wednesday night's ceremony. The council plans to present the three with framed proclamations.

The seven firefighters being honored are Jeff Baranowski, Brian Bova, Jessica Caulkins, Fred DeCarlo, Captain Scott Ingersoll, Marc Manno and Lieutenant Dominick Meyers.

Officer Keith Phillips from the Utica Police Department is also being honored.

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