Brother of late Springsteen sax man rescued from house fire

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(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
Bill Clemons Bill Clemons
Bill Clemons Bill Clemons
(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Department) (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)

A retired Marine Corps captain likely would have died in a house fire had it not been for his neighbors, firefighters said.

Both the Phoenix and Glendale Fire Departments responded to the blaze near 43rd Avenue and Cactus Road just before 1 a.m. Sunday and found William Clemons badly burned in the front yard.

Clemons is also the brother of the late Clarence Clemons, a saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

Four neighbors rang the door bell and pounded on the side of the house, and when they got no response, they started breaking out windows.

They spotted Clemons in the kitchen.

"We tried to pull him from the window but he was heavy and the window was a little bit small," said one of the rescuers,"said Muhannad Al Kusairy.

Another neighbor used an axe to force entry into a larger front door window.

The neighbors grabbed Clemons and assisted him to the front yard as firefighters arrived on scene.

Clemons suffered significant burn injuries and is in extremely critical condition.

Clemons was home alone at the time of the incident. He was able to tell his neighbors that his wife and nephew, who would have normally been inside the house, were out of town.

There were no injuries to any firefighters or neighbors who assisted in the rescue.

Firefighters were able to rescue the family dog.

The fire did not appear suspicious, said Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs. The cause remains under investigation.

Clarence Clemons died in June 2011 from complications from a stroke. He was 69.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.