Philadelphia firefighter honored after saving neighbor from burning building

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- He risked his life running through flames to save his neighbor, and now, Joseph Rippert has been named Philadelphia's Firefighter of the Year.

Joseph Rippert received the honor during a ceremony on Wednesday at the Fireman's Hall Museum in Spring Garden.

In March, when a fire tore through a building on the 500 block of Fairway Terrace, Rippert ran in to save someone who was trapped.

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Paolo Gambaro was rushed to the hospital in serious condition, and he was at the ceremony to thank his hero.

Rippert has been on the job for two years and was off-duty when that fire broke out.

Since he was at home, at 4:30 a.m., when the fire started he didn't have any of his gear. At one point, he had to run outside for a breath of fresh air before completing the rescue.
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