Newport Beach resident among American Red Cross honorees

The American Red Cross of Orange County is honoring 10 local heroes for their outstanding acts of heroism. These heroes will be celebrated at the 2024 Orange County Heroes Awards, held on Friday, May 10 at the City National Grove of Anaheim.

Among these distinguished honorees is Newport Beach resident Fairuz Schlecht, recipient of the Good Samaritan Hero award.

Courtesy of American Red Cross of Orange County

American Red Cross Orange County Heroes Awards staff at last year’s celebration

On the night of December 20, 2022, Schlecht and her family were asleep in their second-floor apartment when they were awoken by the sound of smoke alarms due to a fire in her building. After they safely escaped, Schlecht noticed three children screaming from a neighboring second-floor bedroom window with smoke coming from it. Without hesitation, she immediately ran back into the burning building, crawling on her hands and knees to a bedroom where she found all three young children, one of whom was hiding under a bed. Carrying all three children through dangerous smoke and fire, Schlecht was able to again escape to safety with all three children and reunite them with their parents.

“Our annual Orange County Heroes Awards and luncheon celebrates ordinary people with extraordinary courage,” said Becky Firey, executive director of the American Red Cross of Orange County. “From saving lives to helping their communities, each hero being recognized has their own incredible story, and we know that everyone who attends this year’s event will be truly inspired.”

Event tickets and sponsorships are available now. Funds raised at this year’s event will benefit the Red Cross Home Fore Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries through home fire community education and the installation of free smoke alarms for anyone in need. Match Sponsors A Little Help Foundation and The Caring Path Foundation Fund will match all event donations up to $30,000.

Nominations for the annual Orange County Heroes Awards are accepted year-round.

For tickets and more information, go here.

Editor’s Note: Fairuz Schlecht was honored at the 25th Annual Newport Beach Fire and Lifeguard Appreciation Dinner held at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, recognizing her heroic actions. She received the Meritorious Act Award from the Newport Beach Fire Department.


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