MARTINEZ (CBS 5) – A Martinez man may owe his life to some alert neighbors who helped save him from his burning home.

Don Carroll had dozed off inside his home on Arthur Rd. and a lit cigarette had started a fire that threatened his life.

“I came out to water my lawn and I see the window break out,” recalled neighbor J.T. Archuleta. “(My) first reaction was to help.”

Archuleta – along with Fred Holland and Israel Hoagland – bashed in a window so that they could get into the burning home. Once inside, the group attempted to search the home but was repeatedly turned back by the smoke and flames. On the verge of giving up, 16-year-old Archuleta suggested one more search of the house.

“I’m puking and the smoke was crazy. I just wanted one more time. He needed one more time,” said Hoagland, who recalled pushing straight through the house on the final search. “He was right there, (we) grabbed his foot and dragged him out.”

“There is no doubt in my mind his life was saved by the loving caring goodness of people who live here,” Carroll’s wife Vicky said Wednesday.

Don Carroll was in stable condition at the UC Davis burn unit Wednesday. His wife said she expects a long recovery.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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