One night in May of 2011, Daniel Cole, Raymond Emory and Ericka Lauderdale were working on a friend’s car in Chicago. Suddenly, Ericka noticed flames coming out of a home nearby.
Raymond, Daniel and Ericka reacted to save a girl they saw trapped in the burning house. Daniel hoisted Raymond through a window and into the fire. Raymond then handed the girl to Daniel outside of the house. Daniel then jumped a fence to find two more victims in the backyard. Both men moved the victims over the fence where Ericka, a nursing assistant, performed CPR on a boy, keeping him alive. Without the acts of all three heroes, the family would not have survived.
“Known as a Three Stooges-esque group, the three are known around the community for being good people,” said nominator Essie Beauman, grandmother to Daniel. “The community looks up to them and they are very active in their roles. They are a close group of friends who would do anything for each other and their community.”
In the face of a disaster, Daniel, Raymond and Ericka reacted instinctively. “They were willing to put themselves in harm’s way to respond to disaster,” Essie said.