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Good Samaritans Save Man From Burning House

LAWTON, Okla_A group of good Samaritans rescued an elderly man from his burning house in Lawton on Wednesday.

The fire broke out a little before 4 PM at a house on Northwest Taylor Avenue, near 72nd Street. The fire started in the backyard and quickly spread to the rest of the house, leaving the man incapable of escaping on his own.

Jerry Ronshausen was just stopping by to see a friend when he looked across the street and saw smoke.

"When we were leaving we just saw white smoke. And then once it started turning black you could smell it real bad and that's when the neighbor, actually two neighbors down the street come running up out of nowhere, and that's when one of em kicked in the door," said Ronshausen.

Having no fire training, Ronshausen admitted he was scared going into the burning house.

He explained, "We started yelling, is there anyone home? And then finally we found him in the back right bedroom of the house, and he was sitting in his chair and he didn't know what was going on."

Ronshausen and the other men told the man his house was on fire, but they soon realized he could not move on his own. They carried him to a wheelchair and got him to safety.

"He probably would've burned up because he couldn't get out. I don't know if he has any kind of medical problems but they said he was a diabetic and stuff, so he really wasn't gonna get out unless somebody helped him," Ronshausen said.

He knew it could be worse, but Ronshausen struggled with the fact that a family had to lose their home so close to Christmas.

He said, "It's a shame because you know that's that old man's house. And he probably doesn't have anywhere else to live right now."

Ronshausen had never been in a burning house before, he did not even know the name of the man he helped, he just knew he could not stand by and do nothing.

"If it was me I'd want somebody to do it for me. You don't really think about doing it, you just react to it."

After being checked by paramedics, the man was released with no injuries. He was home alone with several pets that also made it out okay. The actual cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Fire officials said the fire destroyed the back half of the house, and there was extensive damage to the rest. The Red Cross put the man up in a hotel for Wednesday night.

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