Good Samaritan Risks Her Life To Save Elderly Neighbor From Burning Home
Cathy Baldwin of the rural town of Gettysburg, Ohio is being hailed as a hero after she risked her own life to save her elderly neighbor, who was trapped in his burning home.
It all started on Sunday evening, when 78-year-old Leon Howard had just returned home from a care facility where he was recovering from open-heart surgery. Like many people who return home after surgery, Leon was just happy to be back in his own house.
“I just got home this morning,” Leon said. “I have lived here for years. This is home to me, where I was happy.”
All was going well until that evening, when Leon’s home caught on fire. As soon as Cathy noticed the flames from her own house, she immediately ran over to Leon’s to see if he had made it out safely.
“I found him on the roof here at the rear of the house. It wasn’t long after I helped him down that the roof collapsed were he was standing,” she said. “He just kept trying to get back inside the house after that. I had to go in, pick him up and carry him out. I was so afraid that I was going to hurt him, but I knew I had to get him out. The smoke was so black and thick; I didn’t know what else to do.”
Seconds after Cathy got Leon off the roof, it collapsed right where he was standing.
Gettysburg Rural Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeff Unger explained that firefighters think the fire started in a wood burning stove at the back of the home.
Though Leon is luckily to be alive, he said that he thinks he lost everything he owns in the fire. He also said that he has been denied assistance from the American Red Cross, but he added that he has family who he believes will take him in.
We applaud Cathy for saving her neighbor’s life. Please keep Leon in your thoughts and prayers!