The fire broke out at around 7:00 a.m. on May 7 in a two-story wooden house in the Tadain neighborhood of Kawanishi. Yoshida, a coach with his university's track team, noticed smoke coming from the house while out for his morning run. Seeing three people including a child on the house's balcony, Yoshida stopped and directed them to use a rainwater drain pipe to climb down from the second floor. When they safely got to ground level Yoshida entered the house with a key he received from one of them and helped two people trapped inside to escape to safety.
Yoshida helped rescue all five people about 8 minutes before the fire department arrived. Area Fire Department chief Makoto Tajiri commented, "Thanks to him firefighters were able to focus their efforts on the blaze as soon as they arrived, and the amount of damage it caused was minimized."
Receiving his commendation, Yoshida said, "In my running, I still want to improve my marathon time. In my life, this has taught me that it's important to know your escape route at home just like you would in a hotel."
translated by Brett Larner