Beverly

‘He Was Covered in Soot': Neighbors Rescue Man During Mass. House Fire

"I don’t know how, it’s a miracle really, he came out of the house engulfed in smoke. He was covered in soot. I don’t know how he endured all the smoke that was in the house," one neighbor said

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Neighbors came to the rescue of a Beverly man when his home went up in flames Thursday, carrying him to safety before firefighters arrived.

“Flames were starting to come out of the back, which is his kitchen area, and I started calling for him, he wasn’t answering,” neighbor Mary Archibald said, describing what she saw as she approached.

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Archibald said her neighbor is elderly and she was afraid he hadn’t made it out.

“I ran to the front again and started calling for him, and by then the neighbors started coming toward the house and I don’t know how, it’s a miracle really, he came out of the house engulfed in smoke. He was covered in soot. I don’t know how he endured all the smoke that was in the house,” Archibald said.

She said the man was visibly fatigued and sat down to rest on the porch even as the fire kept raging, refusing to move.

“He wanted to sit a while but honestly the flames were coming, you could hear things popping,” Archibald said, adding that she thought he might have been in shock.

“So five neighbors and I, we physically picked him up…physically picked him up and brought him down,” she said, getting choked up.

Fire spread into the walls of the nearly 100-year-old home before fire crews could extinguish the blaze. In the meantime, neighbors kept the victim warm in a car until first responders could get there. He was taken to the hospital to be checked out, but Archibald said he wasn’t seriously hurt.

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