Off-Duty Firefighter Helps Save Paralyzed Woman From Fire

An off-duty Massachusetts firefighter helped save a paralyzed woman after a small fire started on a chair in her home Wednesday.

The Brockton Fire Department says the 911 call for the fire at 63 Woodward Ave. came in around 6:40 a.m.

John McLaughlin, who was on his way to work, got a text about the fire and raced over to the scene.

"I noticed there was a handicap ramp and it peaked my interest from training and everything," he said. "Maybe I should see what's going on."

McLaughlin found the door unlocked and the victim in a hospital bed.

The woman, who is in her late 60s, told him she was paralyzed from the waist down.

McLaughlin picked her up and got her out of the house just as other firefighters were arriving.

Crews brought the chair outside and extinguished the fire. Fire officials say it was caused by a match from the woman's hospital bed.

She was taken to a hospital for evaluation as a precaution. 

McLaughlin says he's glad he was able to help.

"It is so close to Christmas, you don't want somebody's family member to go down, and I just happened to be there at the right time, at the right place," he said. "Everything aligned perfectly."

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