New England quarterback Tom Brady was among the civilians in the vicinity of the deadly Boston fire on Wednesday, as his Back Bay residence is just four doors down from the apartment building where the blaze occurred.

Brady was photographed checking out the damage, and he later spoke eloquently about his gratitude for the first responders.

"I looked out of the front of our house and could see the flames, and then kind of went back to my room, and then went back about two minutes later and just saw it growing, and at that point I had gone to the back part of my house and from my deck I could see kind of what they were up against," Brady said in an interview on WEEI. "At that point, all the fire engines were coming down the street. I was watching for obviously a long time, and then at one point I saw a pretty big explosion of flames and a lot of the firemen were coming out of the building, and that’s when I really got nervous."

Brady thanked the firefighters for their work and said his life was never in jeopardy, but just to be safe he and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, moved their kids to a neighbor's home down the street.

"We as athletes think that we're heroes, but when you witness firsthand what I saw yesterday, you realize who the real heroes are in this world," Brady said during his radio appearance. "It's the people that work hard to protect our lives and protect our safety and our freedoms in America -- certainly the firefighters and Boston Police and the state troopers. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The three-time Super Bowl champion also posted this note about the fire, which killed Lt. Edward J. Walsh Jr. and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy and left 13 firefighters injured: