20 Years After Losing His Family to a House Fire, Man Saves His Neighbor From Similar Flames

Firefighters on a roof with smokeFirefighters on a roof with smoke
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A Massachusetts man carried his neighbor to safety after hearing her calls for help during a house fire, two decades after he lost his wife and two children to a different fire.

Mark Collum heard his neighbor calling for help around 5 a.m. on Sunday and sprung into action.

"I heard 'Fire! Fire!' I just threw my clothes on and just, out of reaction, saw her in the kitchen milling around," Collum told WCVB 5.

"There were flames billowing out the back, smoke filling up the kitchen."

In January 2001, Collum's wife and their young daughters died as a result of a fire at their Massachusetts home. Collum was not present during this fire, according to The AP.

Ron Merry,  the Rowley Fire Captain who also helped put out the fire at Collum's home in 2001, told the outlet that by the time the firefighters arrived on the scene, Deb Shanahan had already been carried to safety.

"There's a side story to the whole thing that's just ironic," Merry told WCVB.

"I don't know if a lot of people would do that."

"I'm glad things worked out today," Collum told WCVB. 

"I'm just glad I was here and did the right thing." 

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