Md. Man Risks Life to Rescue Neighbor


A Baltimore man risked his own life, burning himself in a fire Monday morning while rescuing a neighbor trapped inside.

The fire in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood at about 9 a.m. in the 3300 block of Elm Avenue sent three people to area hospitals.

Debbie Callahan said she won't ever forget seeing her neighbor consumed by fire.

"The lady was just in flames," she said. "Her whole back was completely in flames."

Callahan's 22-year-old son, Robert Hall, bunred his hands after rescuing a woman from the fire.

"I went down there, I yelled," he said. "There was no back entrance to the house. My mom said, 'She's on the front porch, she's on the front porch.' At that time, the porch was already in flames," Hall said. "I tried to get the door open and burned my hands pretty good. I took my shirt off and damped it a little bit and put it on her to cool her down, she was still smoking. I just hope she's alright."

"He was pulling and pulling, and all of a sudden, there were flames, and he just ripped it right off and he just pulled her out," Callahan said. "She was still on fire."

When firefighters arrived, they had another rescue to perform in dangerous conditions.

"(Firefighters) immediately gained entry and performed a rapid attack on the fire. (The fire) continued to burn in its intensity," Baltimore City fire spokesman Kevin Cartwright said. "Simultaneously, other firefighters performed search and rescue operations when they found a victim inside."

Neighbors said a woman and her husband lived in the home with her elderly mother. Firefighters found the mother inside and carried her to safety. Both of the women were taken to a hospital, as well as Hall.

"This is nothing but minor burns. I'm worried about them," Hall said of the women.

"I'm very proud of him. He did the best that he could," Callahan said of her son, who is nicknamed "Bubba."

"(He was) very brave. Most people won't do that. Most people would just stand there and call for the Fire Department," Virginia Carsten, Hall's grandmother.

Fire officials said excessive clutter in the home caused the fire to spread quickly. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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