|Mason Maxwell, Fort Thomas mail carrier.|
On April 28, Mason Maxwell, a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, was walking his typical route in Fort Thomas. He was relatively new to the position, having only started as a City Carrier Assistant (CCA) January 9.
"Everything was going, you know, a typical day," he says.
Until, that is, he was putting mail into a door slot on Southview, and he smelled a little bit of smoke.
"I just kept going," Maxwell says. "I didn't even think anything of it until I was like three houses away. And then I just had to figure out what the smell was so I turned around. I walked back to the house."
And with that, he became a hero.
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Maxwell didn't smell smoke on the porch, so he opened the storm door—nothing. But when he opened the mail slot again, smoke.
"I looked into the door slot and the house was filled with smoke," he says.
He called 911, but he was worried. "I didn't know what to do at the time because there was a car parked out front," he says. "At that point I called back up to the post office, I called my supervisor and I was like, 'There is a car out front. I don't know what to do.'"
The Fort Thomas Fire Department, however, arrived in less than five minutes.
No one was home. "She was very lucky to not be inside I guess, and I was worried that she was going to be inside," Maxwell says. "But everything ended up working out fine and the fire department, they found a window open so they went in. There was was no damage done there. But the stove was left on. They went in with fire extinguishers and they came out with a burnt-up pan."
|Maxwell in front of his mail truck.|
Two days later Maxwell arrived at the house and found a note on the door. It asked him to knock. So he did. "She came to the door and she was just, I've never seen anyone that appreciative towards me," he says. "It was pretty cool. She was very happy. She couldn't express to me how thankful she was."
Jim Bosley, postmaster of the Newport Postal Service said the Southview resident even stopped by the office, wanting to know about Maxwell, and wrote a letter.
In the letter she said Maxwell "went 'above the call of duty' on his route in Fort Thomas." And, "His fast and conscientious thinking prevented an error on my part from turning into a very costly accident. Timing prevented my NEW kitchen cabinets (just recently installed) from going up in smoke. I am indebted and will always be thankful for a young man named Mason."
Bosley says Maxwell was placed into PMG (Postmaster General) Hero program, which allows him to be recognized nationally. Carriers across the nation have saved people's lives by giving mouth-to-mouth, discovering folks who have fallen, and more. They're at our homes every day, typically the same time each day, and they know our routines—what's typical and atypical. Even newcomers, such as Maxwell, can determine an abnormal smell at a home he's delivered mail to for several months.
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"He's outstanding," Bosley says.
"For 90 days, he's one of our top performers. We're actually shocked how he's come on in 90 days. Usually we don't start them at 8:30 a.m., it's a prolong process, but he's caught on so fast. I've known him since he's been a little kid, because he's actually a neighbor of mine. And he's always worked. He's always on the roof or something with his dad. His dad makes him work. So I knew I was getting a good employee. He's outstanding."