Video shows rescuer carrying man from burning home

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2014 9:50 PM

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A man ran into a burning home in central California and came out carrying a man who lives inside over his shoulder as flames popped and exploded behind him.

Beth Lederach told the Fresno Bee ( ) that she was driving by when she saw the duplex in Fresno engulfed in flames Saturday. She pulled over, called 911 and began shooting video with her phone.

A woman standing on the sidewalk holding a baby was shouting that her father, who had been hooked up to an oxygen tank, was still inside.

"I was pretty shaken up about it," Lederach told the newspaper. "As I got out of the car, this woman came up with this baby and said, 'My dad is in there! My dad is in there!' I didn't know what to do. I felt so helpless."

The flames then surged and several people who had been trying to help ran down the driveway.

They were followed by a stocky man with a mustache wearing jeans and a Los Angeles Dodgers cap who had the woman's father over his shoulder.

"I wasn't going fast enough so a guy picked me up and carried me out there," the father, Robert Wells, told KFSN-TV.

The man who carried him out was a passer-by who had seen the flames and left before anyone could thank him or even learn his name, but KFSN spoke to him Monday.

"I was scared, you know, I'm sure anybody would be scared, you know, but it's a life, hey try to help him," Tom Artiaga told the TV station. "It's a big deal but you got to help out people. It's what God put us here for."

Firefighters arrived soon after the rescue and had the blaze out within about 20 minutes, fire Capt. Kris Townsend told the Bee.

The man who was rescued, whose name was not released, was treated at a hospital, Townsend said.

The blaze apparently started in a garage and did an estimated $100,000 in damage, he said.


Information from: The Fresno Bee,