Massachusetts

Powerful Picture Shows Firefighter Saving US Flag From Blaze in Milford

Lt. Billy Collins isn't a hero, he said, he "just didn't want to see the flag get destroyed"

A powerful image captured the moment a firefighter carried an American flag out of a burning home in Milford, Massachusetts, on Tuesday.

Milford fire Lt. Billy Collins, a Marine veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, went into the building on East Street to carry out Old Glory.

"I think all firefighters would do the same thing. It represents us all," Collins said.

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The flag had been hanging in the window since the home's owner bought the house, according to the owner's girlfriend, Caroline Berberich.

"It was very, very meaningful to us," Berberich said.

Collins isn't a hero, he said, he "just didn't want to see the flag get destroyed."

It was actually one of two flags saved from the fire. A family was able to get their own flag out, one they kept in memory of the homeowner's father, a Navy veteran and Milford police officer.

"We're very appreciative they were able to save our flag in the widow and stop the fire so it didn't destroy his father's flag. If his father's flag was gone, it would have been the end of him," Berberich said.

The family is still devastated after four of their cats died in the fire that destroyed their home. They do not know where they will live next, but said wherever it is, both of the flags will come too.

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