Neighbor tries to save couple from burning home

January 26, 2013 7:24:17 PM PST
Officials say a neighbor jumped into action during a house fire Saturday morning trying to save a couple in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia.

The blaze broke out around 6:00 a.m. on the 2000 block of Anchor Street.

63-year-old Walter Mattis and his wife Marie were asleep inside.

William Martinez, heard his neighbor's smoke alarm go off and scrambled to try and save them.

"When I ran outside the first thing I saw was smoke coming out, I heard screaming," said Martinez, "I saw flames so I ran and kept running."

He showed how an adrenaline rush kicked in allowing him to bust open a double-bolted front door and successfully rescue his one of his neighbors.

Martinez said the thick smoke and flames prevented him from reaching the master bedroom. From a distance he could see fire victim Walter lying in bed, covered in flames.

"What I saw was horrible, to see a person on fire - never wish that in my life," said Martinez.

Fire crews arrived and were able to rescue Walter from the second floor.

Officials say the 63-year-old was taken to Aria Hospital Torresdale and later transferred to Temple University Hospital. He suffered from burns and is listed in critical condition.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Meanwhile, Martinez says he doesn't look at himself as a hero.

"I don't consider myself a hero I did it because I don't want to see anybody get hurt," said Martinez.


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