Garbage man helps elderly couple escape house fire in Ceres

Local News

CERES, Calif. (KTXL) — A good Samaritan saved a senior couple from a burning home Tuesday.

Video from the Ceres Fire Department shows flames engulfing a home on Grover Street. The fire left a senior couple displaced. 

“By the time we got there, which was a very fast response, there was heavy fire in the residence through the front and the back,” Ceres Fire Chief Kevin Wise told FOX40.

Wise said firefighters quickly searched the home to make sure there was no one inside. 

The homeowners made it out safely thanks to a garbage man named Patrick Lebow.

“He felt the need to act. He saw that they needed some help,” said Wise.

Wise said Lebow was on his collection route when he saw the burning home and kicked in the front door to get the couple out.

“He found a gentleman that was inside that looked possibly a little dazed and confused. He helped that gentlemen out of the house,” explained Wise. “And then he knew that there was somebody else in the house. So we went back looking again for his wife and he located the wife in the backyard and helped her out of the house also.”

Firefighters said, despite multiple searches and their best efforts, the family’s pet died in the fire. 

“Upon our initial search, we couldn’t find the rabbit,” said Wise. “We later found the rabbit and it has succumbed to the fire.”

Lebow declined to do an on-camera interview but he told FOX40 he does not believe he did anything special. 

Lebow said he did what any loving human being would have done and told FOX40 he was “just in the right place, at the right time.”

“Who knows what might have happened if it wasn’t for his actions and taking it upon himself to do something about it. The results could have been devastating,” said Wise.

The Ceres Fire Department said the American Red Cross helped the family find shelter while they gave the couple a $250 gift card through the California Fire Foundation’s SAVE Program, which helps provide immediate aid to fire victims. 

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