(Image: KPRC screengrab)

Michael “Smitty” Smith is credited with more than 42 years of service with the Houston, Texas fire department, and started a well-deserved retirement in June. But when he saw his old crew battling a three-alarm blaze on TV news, he suited up one last time and stepped in to help.

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“It’s kind of like the old fire horses, when they hear the bell they just go,” Smith told KPRC, which interviewed him after seeing him withstand a barrage of high-fives after the massive fire at Richmond and Sage had been knocked down.

Chron reports that some 135 firefighters ended up participating in the extinguishing effort, which went from about 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

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“It took me a while to get here ‘cause they got the traffic all locked up,” Smith said, to which the reporter interviewing him replied “You’re probably not used to sitting in traffic.” Indeed– Smith drove himself to the scene with his own turnout gear but without lights and sirens. Local news said he helped “any way he could” at the scene.

I’m guessing the person in charge (incident commander) did not let Smith enter the burning building, but there’s plenty of work to do at a fire as large as this one and I’m sure his assistance was appreciated.

Smitty here sounds like a true badass. Heck even Facebook commenters like him! Hopefully he gets the hang of the whole “retirement” thing soon, it seems like he’s earned it.