from our partnerFaithwire
written byWill Maule
The first person to notice something amiss was Larry Knapp, a security guard at the nearby Woods Road Elementary school.
“I saw the smoke across the street, so then I ran across the street,” he explained to CBS New York. Knapp, a retired NYPD officer who’d only just started his job at the school, was about to experience something of a baptism by fire into his new role.
“The wife was on the front lawn of the house and then I asked her if everyone was out of the house and the answer was, ‘No, my husband is still upstairs and he’s handicapped,’” Knapp explained.
As the fires started to spread throughout the structure, it became apparent that the victim, Michael Goldstein, was trapped on the second floor.
“I heard him calling for help. I wasn’t going to allow something to happen to him when I’m right here and could help,” Knapp explained.
As bystanders called 911, Knapp and parent Reonard Lamour sprinted upstairs to rescue the stricken man.
“I just wanted to give my part on this world to help someone out,” Lamour told the outlet. Recalling details of the rescue, Knapp said the pair reached the top of stairs and grabbed Goldstein, “when the police officer came from behind and then the three of us carried him down.”
Police officer Francis McKay of the Suffolk County Police had heard the 911 call on his scanner and responded immediately. “It was definitely very hot, couldn’t see very much at all, but I could hear the commotion at the top of the stairs, which led me in that direction,” the officer explained.
Along with the two others, McKay helped Goldstein out of the building and ensured he was transported to safety.
“That was a great thing they did. It was a good feat,” said neighbor Richard Citrano.
“They were there for a reason,” added another local resident. “They were at the right time at the right spot.”
The North Babylon Fire Company confirmed the story in a report of the incident, which they posted to Facebook.
“At 3:12 pm we were alerted of a house fire on Woods Road across from the elementary school. Responding units were given reports of a possible person trapped and that multiple calls were being taken on this,” they wrote. “Once on scene, it was confirmed that there was an active fire on the second floor and that a person was removed from the fire.”
Praise God for those heroes being willing to put their lives on the line to save this man!