You never know how good your neighbors are until there’s an emergency.
It was after midnight when Clifford Saint Jean of Roslindale, Massachusetts woke up to the sound of a commotion next door. Looking outside, he saw that the house next to his was on fire, and there were three people trapped on the second floor.
A mother with a teenager and a 5-year-old child were screaming for help inside the burning home. Unable to get down the stairs due to thick smoke and flames, the only way out of the inferno was through the window. Thinking fast, Clifford ran into his backyard and dragged an old mattress beneath the woman’s window.
“Come down, come down,” he recalls calling up to the family.
He assured the panicked mother that he would catch the child. In an act of faith and desperation, the mother tossed her child out of the window — straight into Clifford’s arms. Moments later, the mother and teenager jumped too. Their landings were cushioned by the mattress.
Nine people are unhoused after the house was destroyed. The Red Cross is working to help the victims recover from losing their home and belongings. The house suffered about $1 million in damages, and the fire was so hot it even melted the siding off of the house next to it. Two firefighters from the Boston Fire Department suffered minor injuries.
Once the fire was out, authorities were quick to praise Clifford for his bravery and quick thinking.
“A heroic job by the next door neighbor to save a mother and her 2 children who were trapped on the 2nd floor by heavy fire at the 3 alarm fire on Delford st.,” they stated on Twitter. “He put a mattress down for them to jump as he caught the 5 year old that the mother dropped out the window to him.”
Clifford later said he was “happy” he could help the family escape the flames. He says the mother he saved was so grateful and overwhelmed she couldn’t stop thanking him for helping. It took a lot of guts for him to run towards that fire! Thankfully, everyone made it out alive.
Clifford didn’t think twice about running toward danger to help these strangers. We would all be fortunate to have a neighbor like him!
Share this story to thank this hero for saving three lives.
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