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Caught on Camera: Neighbors Pull Neighbor from Fire

TOBYHANNA TOWNSHIP — It was a true team effort Monday night as two neighbors worked to save their friend from inside his burning trailer and part of that rescue was captured on camera.

The shell of a trailer is all that’s left after a fire in Tobyhanna Township. But thanks to these two neighbors, the man who lived there is still alive.

Scott Goodale and Ray Martin say they rushed into action after their wives spotted the smoke while they were out walking their dogs.

Surveillance video shows part of their heroic tale: Scott Goodale on his way over with a fire extinguisher.

“I was hollering for him and he was answering me back, a little muffled and everything, but he wasn’t too far away. But the trouble was you could only see maybe two feet, no more than that,” said Goodale.

The retired firefighter couldn’t get his neighbor, Jerry Purcell, out. So that’s when Ray Martin came in as backup.

“Then I went in on my hands and knees, and I got about five or six feet in and I could feel Jerry there, he must have crawled that far. But he wasn’t getting any further,” said Martin.

But then Martin had to come out, too.

“Then I got overcome by the smoke, and I got blinded. The smoke was kind of toxic so it was burning your eyes, I had to get out of there or else they would have had to come in and get me out of there,” said Martin.

After a few tries, Ray and Scott were able to drag their neighbor out the front door, across some gravel to safety, but their hard work didn’t stop there.

On the video, you can see neighbors lifting the victim farther away from the smoke to safety. Then as the fire trucks arrive, Goodale springs into action, unraveling hose to help fight the fire, too.

“Sure, they can always use an extra pair of hands,” said Goodale.

Now as their neighbor recovers in the hospital, these men are rather humble.

“We all know each other, you know, and something like this, we all come running,” said Martin.

“Five minutes longer, there’s no doubt in my mind he would have been dead,” added Goodale.

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