Man rescued from fire thanks Portland firefighters - KPTV - FOX 12

Man rescued from fire thanks Portland firefighters

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Richard Haley is alive because of the quick actions of two Portland firefighters.

Speaking from a hospital bed Wednesday afternoon, Haley said he is thankful to the firefighters for saving his life.

"It took guts and brains running in there to help somebody out," he said.

The 74-year-old was bedridden and hooked up to a feeding tube when the apartment next door to his caught fire Monday afternoon.

Investigators said an improperly discarded cigarette started the fire at Hidden Court apartments on SE 121st Avenue.

Robert Haley, Richard's son, said he went next door to help and a small propane tank in the neighbor's apartment exploded.

"That’s when I went over and pulled the alarm," Robert said. "The minute I pulled the alarm, there were flames shooting out so I couldn’t’ get back to our apartment to get to my dad ."

Thick, black smoke filled Haley's room. He couldn't see anything. The 78-year-old thought he would die.

Then two firefighters, Andrew French and Bryan Wells, rushed in.

"I didn’t see him come in, I couldn’t even see them til they run up to my bed," he recalled.

They disconnected his feeding tube and carried him outside to safety.

Richard gets emotional every time he talks about the rescue.

“I want to say thank you for saving my life,” he said of the firefighters who saved his life. “They deserve it.”

The family can’t go back into the apartment yet, and they believe smoke and water have damaged just about everything inside. Still, Robert is grateful.

“I thank that my dad’s alright. The other stuff, it can be replaced,” he said.

Robert and his son are staying in a motel through the end of the week, and they are hearing it will be about two months before they can get back into the apartment. Richard will go to a care facility when he gets out of the hospital.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account for the family.

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