Couple thanks newspaper delivery man who saved their lives

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 7:37 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 1:21 PM

Map: Cave Creek and Bell roads

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PHOENIX -- Just 24 hours after a fire gutted their mobile home, a Phoenix couple thanked the newspaper delivery man who saved their lives.

Bob Collier said he didn't know what was happening when the man, who declined to share his name, started pounding on his door early Monday morning.

Collier grabbed his gun and went to see what the commotion was, but was met with flames. He and his wife escaped out the back door as the fire ripped through their home.

Collier, a Vietnam veteran, said that narrow escape would not have been possible if the delivery man, whom he called Taz, had not taken action.

"He saved our lives. He saved my wife's life," Collier said, visibly choked up. "That's what's most important to me -- my wife."

Taz was on his regular route when he spotted smoke billowing from the Colliers' trailer.

"I had to thank him," Marcia Collier said. "I had to find out who he was, what he looked like."

Marcia Collier said she only remembers seeing a beard and a white truck before her hero took off.

After waking the Colliers, Taz continued to neighbors' homes, getting them up and outside to safety.

Taz stayed on the scene just long enough to talk to firefighters. "He just left. He had a route to do," Marcia Collier said with a smile.

The Colliers' home was destroyed. Investigators said the fire was accidental.

While the Colliers are grateful to Taz and happy to share their story, Taz does not want the attention that comes with heroic actions. He asked a co-worker to cover his route this morning.

"He didn't want to be on TV. He didn't want to talk to anybody," Marcia Collier explained, saying that he did accept hugs from her and her family.

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