Neighbors jump into action to help save man from burning home

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Firefighters say neighbors who saw a home on fire in their community helped save a man who was trapped inside the home.

Fire and smoke shot through the roof of the split-level home on Mephisto Circle just before noon.

Neighbors shared video of the intense flames with Channel 2′s Tom Jones.

“I mean it was blazing. It was blazing,” said next-door neighbor Ernest Brooks.

The neighbor on the other side of the home saw the flames, too.

“I see the smoke coming from all the doors and windows,” Urvano Valera said.

Then they realized the older man who lives in the home was trapped on the second floor.

His son was trying to get his father to safety. He hoisted a ladder to the window. But he needed help rescuing his father.

That’s when Valera ran over to help.

“I climbed the ladder and help him to pull him out of the window,” he said.


Brooks also joined the effort to get the man to safety.

“And I came around the front and saw them pulling him out the window and I just assisted them helping them pull him out the window,” he pointed out.

Brooks said the man was burned and had taken in a lot of smoke.

“He was slightly unconscious, " he said.

Firefighters arrived and took over just as the group got the man out. Emergency crews say the neighbors did an outstanding job in the face of a fierce fire.

“We appreciate the efforts, and it is quite potential that they saved a life,” said Lt. Ryan McGiboney with the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

The men said they just did what any neighbor would do.

“I’m glad to help him save his life. I hope he’s fine,” Valera said.

The survivor was taken to the hospital where he is being treated. Firefighters did not have an update on his condition.

Firefighters were able to rescue two dogs that were inside. The cause of the fire is under investigation.