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Three roomates team up to save a disabled man from his burning home

Published On: Aug 12 2013 08:16:35 PM CDT
CONCOW, Calif. -

Thanks to some courageous neighbors, a disabled 65-year-old man was able to survive a house fire in Concow on Monday afternoon.

“There's no other way," said one of them, Zacheria Brewer. "You got to get the guy out. Either that or he's going to die."

His roommate, Virgil Ritter, said that when they saw flames, they ran to the home.

“I never ran faster and lifted so much weight in my life. This man was at least 250 lbs. He was a big man. I never lifted that much,” said Anthony Lombardi.

Lombardi said he had to run to the back of the house because the front of the house was on fire.

“He’s standing on the second story.   The flames are right here and we said, 'Hey can you get out and he said, 'No, I can't walk,'" said Ritter.

Ultimately, with the help of the three roommates, the victim was able to get out of harm's way. His house was not so lucky. CAL FIRE said the house was completely destroyed.

“So I carried him to the side of the house to the back porch and that's when I ran to Virgil and I told him to stay with the man,” said Lombardi.

CAL FIRE said flames broke out at around 12 p.m. on Monday however, they said they still do not know what started the fire.

“We stretched some hoses around the back side to make sure the fire wasn't going to spread to any of the surrounding vegetation,” said CAL FIRE Engineer Keith Mapes.

CAL FIRE also took to the air just to be on the safe side. Crews applauded the three men for their life-saving effort.

“They were looking after their neighbors.  They were looking after each other and banning together to help out,” said Mapes.