By: Jillian Wilson
When Rock Island Police Officer Dan Johnson saw a man trapped on the second floor balcony outside his burning home, he says he went with his gut instinct to get the man to safety.
"When I saw that I was just like I have to get him down."
Officer Johnson was the first on the scene.
He quickly got a ladder from a neighbor and tried talking the man into coming down.
"We then tried to get the gentlemen to come down on his own, he wouldn't for obvious reasons," says Johnson.
But when that didn't work, Johnson climbed up the ladder and made the man come down with him.
"I mean time was kind of pressing. It felt like hours went by in the meantime while he was slowly making his way to the ladder," says Johnson.
And he got out just in time.
The fire completely totaled the home on 7th street.
But luckily, the four other family members were able to get out safely too.
"I feel good that I did help as much as I possibly could. I mean yes it doesn't take away the fact that the family no longer has a home, but at least preservation of life is still there at the very, very least," says Johnson.
It's not just the family who is praising Johnson's efforts.
"I'm very proud of his actions. Officer Johnson displayed exemplary performance. He put himself at risk in order to save another individual and he's to be commended for that," says Jeff VenHuizen, RI Chief of Police.
And even though Johnson says he just did what felt right... the accolades are a plus.
"That feels pretty good coming from the chief," says Johnson.
The Red Cross is helping the family with food and a place to stay.