Two Sioux City men have been honored by the city’s fire department for warning residents of a fire in an apartment building. The two men were watching TV in one of the apartments when they heard someone outside shout.

 The pair went outside to see what was happening and saw smoke billowing out of the building. Sioux City Fire Chief Tom Everett says it was about 11:30 at night. “Most residents were sleeping at the time of the fire,” he says. Everett says the two men started banging on doors, ringing door bells and alerting people in the building to the danger.

“They also utilized extinguishers and tried to put the fire out,” the chief says. The fire chief gave Chris Hall and Mark Stewart a Sioux City Fire Department “Life Saver Award” during a ceremony Wednesday.

“This is an exemplary piece of citizenship displayed by both,” Everett said.”They did exactly what they should have done in this case and I’m sure they saved numerous lives.” Investigators say the fire, which happened on May 16th, started in a store room outside of a top-floor apartment and spread into the building’s attic.

Hall, one of the two men honored, is a state representative seeking reelection this November. He’s a Democrat who faces Republican Jeremy Taylor on the general election ballot. Taylor is an incumbent, too.

It is the only House contest in which two incumbents from opposing parties were thrown into the same district when new district maps were drawn last year. Every 10 years district lines are redrawn to account for population shifts identified in the latest census.

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City