TOWN OF BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A fire may have destroyed his home, but a Long Island man with disabilities is counting his blessings.
Three men risked their own lives to save his, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
It was your average school dismissal at Woods Road Elementary on Thursday. It is hard to believe that 24 hours earlier it was frighteningly disrupted.
“I saw the smoke across the street, so then I ran across the street,” security guard Larry Knapp said.
Knapp, a retired NYPD officer, had just started his new job at the school and never expected he would also become a neighborhood fireman for the day.
“The wife was on the front lawn of the house and then I asked her if everyone was out of the house and the answer was, ‘No, my husband is still upstairs and he’s handicapped,'” Knapp said.
Pictures show smoke pouring out of the home across the street from the North Babylon school. Michael Goldstein, who is disabled, was trapped on the second floor.
“I heard him calling for help. I wasn’t going to allow something happen to him, when I’m right here and could help,” Knapp said.
So while others called 911, Knapp and Reonard Lamour, a parent who was picking up his son, ran into the burning house to rescue to the 73-year-old upstairs.
“I just wanted to give my part on this world to help someone out,” Lamour said.
“Pretty much as we got to the top of the stairs and grabbed him, that’s when the police officer came from behind and then the three of us carried him down,” Knapp said.
That policeman was Officer Francis McKay of the Suffolk County Police Department. He had overheard the 911 call on his scanner.
“It was definitely very hot, couldn’t see very much at all, but I could heard the commotion at the top of the stairs, which led me in that direction,” McKay said.
McKay then escorted Goldstein safely out of the home in a wheelchair. The neighborhood is now calling the three men heroes.
“That was a great thing they did. It was a good feat,” neighbor Richard Citrano said.
“They were there for a reason. They were at the right time at the right spot,” Cori Gaudioso added.
With the right kind of bravery.
Goldstein’s 71-year-old wife was able to escape safely on her own.
The Good Samaritans were not hurt, but the crossing guard was treated for smoke inhalation.
Firefighters brought the flames under control within 30 minutes.