FORT PIERCE, Fla. -

It started with the smell of smoke. That's when Tommy Barber knew something wasn't right.

The blind man was with a friend in his Fort Pierce home when a fire broke out at a nearby unit. Barber normally uses a pole for guidance, but on that September night, he said adrenaline led him to help.

Barber and his friend quickly rushed to save a woman who was sleeping inside when the fire got out of control.

"The door had some kind of handle on it, you know," Barber said, "If you hit the handle, the door popped open and that's what happened."

Barber and his friend were able to pull the woman out of her burning apartment. His act of courage then went even further.

The lieutenant with the fire department says Barber led other tenants down the stairs to safety.

Barber is being credited for his bravery with a nomination for the city's local citizen hero award.