"Hero, he's our angel," said his neighbor.
One elderly man did not think twice before risking his life to save his neighbors from a blazing fire. His courageous act gained him the reputation of a hero.
According to KMOV4, Marshall Helm, a veteran from Salem, Illinois, did not know that his neighbor's garage was on fire when he walked out to drop his granddaughter at the bus stop around 7:30 a.m.
Fortunately, the bus driver noticed the fire and alerted the man about it. "Bus driver hung out the door and tried to get my attention and he said 'fire, fire, fire.' And I looked over here and sure enough, I saw a fire coming through that window," said the elderly man.
Consequently, Helm ran to the scene. He pushed the garage door open only to see the flames climbing up the wall. Despite battling cancer, Helm did not stop himself from charging into the burning house to rescue his neighbors Gary and Kathy Benjamin, who were sleeping upstairs with no idea about the fire.
Within moments, the couple was awakened by Helm shouting "fire." Though they were confused and lost in the commotion, they decided to follow Helm. The couple followed him out through the back door just before the flames engulfed the garage door.
Recalling the incident, Kathy stated, "Oh my God, I didn't know what was happening." Gary added, "All I saw was flames coming through the wall."
70-Year-Old Veteran Battling Cancer Hailed as an ‘Angel’ After He Charged into Burning Home to Save Neighbors https://t.co/kpAWKx7D6t— Sawsharee (@sawsharee) October 28, 2020
The couple thanked Helm for his quick action. Thanks to him they did not suffer any injuries. However, they faced some discomfort due to the smoke inhalation.
Speaking to KMOV4, the couple stated that they lost 40 years of possessions in the fire. But they admitted that it was not as valuable as their lives. "Lifesaver, lifesaver is all I can say," said Gary, referring to the brave veteran. His wife added, "Hero, he's our angel."
Meanwhile, a GoFund Me page was set up to help the couple recover from the loss.
"My parents like many don't like accepting help or charity, but in this situation, I have to reach out for them, at least until they get assurances from insurance that they will be okay." wrote Nicholas Benjamin, the son of the couple on the fundraiser page.
"The Red Cross has put them up for 2 nights at the hotel but they were so downtrodden they stayed with us last night. I know during an economic downturn like this and a pandemic it’s hard to ask for any kind of gift or donation, so it’s completely okay just to pray for us, but if you have anything to give to help with the transition, I know they would sincerely appreciate it, and I sincerely appreciate it. Thank you so much," stated the page.