SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — Two Springfield custodians are being recognized for their life-saving work helping to rescue a family from a burning home.

“We noticed smoke coming from across the street,” recalls John Ryder, the head custodian at Reid Elementary School.

Life-saver isn’t part of his job description, but that’s exactly what he and fellow custodian Dale Rapp did on November 27. The two were working at the school across the street when a fire sparked at a home on South Bird Road.

Reid Elementary School custodians John Ryder and Dale Rapp

“The house is ready to catch on fire, and it did as we was approaching it,” describes Ryder.

Their first instinct was to call 9-1-1; their second was to help.

“Really didn’t have time to think. It was seeing people in distress and your first natural instinct is to go do whatever you can to help,” states Rapp.

“We got three people out right away,” says Ryder. “Come to find out, there was two more people stranded on the other side of the house.”

The family had retreated to the roof to escape the flames.

With help from the two heroes and first responders, all five escaped to safety and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

“I would do it again tomorrow,” admits Ryder.

“I would hope that anybody and everybody would to the same thing,” says Rapp.