Hero soldier risks his life to save 10-year-old girl from burning apartment

After climbing through the apartment window, Private Marcin Piotrowski plucked the screaming girl from the floor and managed to hand her to a neighbour before going back in to search for her family and being blown off his feet by an explosion. Press materials

A part-time soldier has been dubbed a hero after saving a 10-year-old girl from a blazing inferno.

Marcin Piotrowski, who is a member of the  Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej (Territorial Defence Force), had been at home in the town of Grodzisk Mazowiecki when he noticed smoke billowing out of the apartment below his.

Springing into action, the quick-thinking private climbed out of his window and into the fire-filled apartment.

Marcin Piotrowski, who is a member of the  Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej (Territorial Defence Force), had been at home in the town of Grodzisk Mazowiecki when he noticed smoke billowing out of the apartment below his.Press materials

Inside he found the distraught girl screaming in panic as the flames raged around her.

Plucking her off the floor, the soldier managed to pass her out of the window to another neighbour before going back into the apartment to see if anyone else was trapped.

As he was carrying out a room-to-room search, an explosion sent him sprawling to the ground.

Springing into action, the quick-thinking private climbed out of his window and into the fire-filled apartment where he found the distraught girl screaming in panic as the flames raged around her.Press materials

Despite being winded by the blast and badly burned, Piotrowski managed to crawl out of the fire to the front door which he then opened to enable the fire brigade access.

He was later taken to hospital suffering from first and second degree burns to his whole body.

A photo shows the soldier lying on a gurny wearing a Street Fighter II T-shirt and covered in bandages from head to toe.

After managing to hand the girl to a neighbour, Private Piotrowski began searching the apartment when a blast ripped him off his feet. He was hospitalised with first and second degree burns.Press materials

Following his release, modest Piotrowski said: “Among the smoke and flames I saw a panicked and screaming girl. I took her out of the apartment, handing her to my neighbour through the window.

"The girl thanked me and it's okay. I'm already at home and I'm fine, I feel better than it looks."

Lieutenant Dominik Pijarski, Press Officer of the 6th Mazowiecka Brygada Obrony Terytorialnej said: “This event shows that the motto of the soldiers of the Territorial Defence Forces ‘Always ready, always close’ is not an empty phrase but a motto that territorial people follow not only during their service but every day.”

Piotrowski later said: “The girl thanked me and it's okay. I'm already at home and I'm fine, I feel better than it looks.”Press materials

Social media has now been flooded with praise for the soldier.

One user said: Soldier or not, this man is a true hero. Not everyone would risk their own life to save someone, especially a stranger.

Another said: “I am speechless. I bow to this hero.”