CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A letter carrier got a special honor Monday night for going above and beyond the duties in his job description.

On March 12th, while on duty in Champaign, Matthew King noticed a nearby porch was on fire. He acted quickly, grabbing a bucket and starting what he called a “bucket brigade,” throwing water on the fire until the Champaign Fire Department could arrive.

The people inside the home were able to get out safely because of his quick thinking.

“There was about six of us in the house. So he definitely saved each and every life doing that,” said Desiree Sauls…one of those six people inside.

King told us many postal carriers would do the exact same thing he did. He said they are in the line of public service, and they make it a priority to help people in the neighborhoods they serve.

But to Sauls and her family, he was a hero.

“It wasn’t his job to tell us hey, your house is burning down, cause there was a lot of different people going past,” said Sauls. “Nobody stopped…nobody said anything.”

He received a letter of recognition from Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig.

He also got a surprise when Sauls and her family showed up at the end, to say thank you. Sauls said ever since the fire happened, she’s been trying to track him down.

In the moment, he said it was just instinct, “there’s something that needs to be done, and you go and do it.” But after Sauls and her family showed up, he said it became emotionally real for him.

“That’s pretty astounding,” King said.