A ‘tender’ moment

Community DeKalb News


McDonald’s surprises DeKalb firefighters with chicken tenders


Almost overnight, DeKalb County firefighter Robert Sutton became a local celebrity when video surfaced of him catching a baby thrown from a burning building.

 The video quickly went viral and Sutton’s actions have appeared on multiple media outlets including Good Morning America. Media outlets weren’t the only organizations taking notice of Sutton’s actions as McDonald’s surprised Sutton and his fire station with a free lunch Aug. 16.

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 The Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Owners/Operators Association provided more than 80 chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and fries to Firehouse No. 26 on McAfee Road in Decatur.

 Sutton said he’s still getting used to his newfound fame.

 “I’m not used to all these cameras or talking and speaking in public. I’m not used to seeing myself on [television]. When the video went viral…it was a shock,” Sutton said.

 Many DeKalb County officials hailed Sutton as a hero, but Sutton said he was just doing his job. The April fire started at a Glenwood Road apartment complex in Decatur. Sutton said when he saw columns of smoke pouring out of the building he knew it was going to be a working incident.

 Sutton said when firefighters arrived at a particular unit, the screen popped off a second-story window to reveal a man holding a baby in his arms.

 “I told him to drop the baby and he did,” Sutton said. “The dedication of all the crew members made it possible.”



 John Hurt, a McDonald’s owner and operator who operates the restaurant on the corner of Candler Road and McAfee in Decatur, said he was happy to give back to Sutton and his fire station.  

 “We wanted to show our appreciation for Sutton and let him know that the community cares about him,” Hurt said. “The community wants to put our arms around him and show him all the love for what a great deed he did in the community.”

 Hurt said he was happy to see some positivity on the news about DeKalb County and wanted to offer his assistance.

 The free lunch featured one of McDonald’s newest sandwiches as well as a new sriracha dipping sauce. Sutton said he was ‘lovin’ it.”

 “It was good,” Sutton said laughing, referring to his meal. “I wasn’t expecting that, but they definitely showed me and the crew love. Everyone in DeKalb County has shown us love.”



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