Neighbors save man from burning home in Phoenix

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by azfamily.com

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on February 2, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 1:34 PM

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PHOENIX -- A man suffered significant burn injuries after his house caught fire early Sunday morning, but fire officials say his neighbors saved his life.

Just before 1 a.m., the Phoenix and Glendale fire departments responded to the fire on the 12000 block of North 46th Avenue, near Cactus Road.

When firefighters arrived, they saw heavy smoke and the 67-year-old man in his front yard with neighbors.

Fire crews immediately began treating the man and extinguishing the blaze.

He was transported to a local burn center in extremely critical condition, according to Phoenix Fire Capt. Ruben Saavedra. He reportedly had second- and third-degree burns on most of his body.

Saavedra said the man's neighbors helped him get out of the burning home.

"I think anybody that saw somebody who was in danger would step up and help out any way they could," said neighbor and retired Army soldier Paul Anderson.

When neighbors saw the fire, they broke a small window and spotted the man lying on the floor. They called to him and coached him to the front door.

"I just kind of reached in, had him grab my hand, and that gave him the strength to stand up and walk to the door," Anderson said. "At that point, another gentleman came over with an ax and busted down the door, and we got him out."

The man was home alone at the time.

No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Sunday but did not appear to be suspicious, according to Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs.

Firefighters believe the blaze started in the back of the home, possibly in the kitchen.

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