70-year-old veteran Jimmy “Cowboy” Johnson with lung issues ran to the second floor without protective gear to save his neighbor from a fire Monday morning. According to a post by the fire department in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Johnson said, “he did what he had to do” and now he is being hailed locally as a hero.
The news of the fire incident now making national headlines broke out around 10 am in Norristown. The U.S. Marine Corps veteran noticed the smoke from his neighbor’s house and called 911 to report the fire.
Nonetheless, Johnson could not wait for help to arrive. With the help of two younger boys, they kicked down the door to the house and everyone trapped in the house was assisted to exit the building.
However, one more person was trapped on the second floor and without care of how dangerous it could be to him, Johnson, according to ABC affiliate, WPVI, went upstairs in an attempt to rescue the man who was on fire.
“He was on fire! I said, ‘We got to get him out quick!'” Johnson recalled to the local outlet. “I drug [sic] him down the stairs, brought him outside and I’m just putting the fire out in his hair.”
According to PEOPLE, the fire was then put out by the firefighters who had arrived at the scene when Johnson brought the victim out safely. The victim was quickly rushed to the nearest trauma center in Philadelphia, but his present condition is unknown.
Johnson hopes he survives the burns, not worried about himself at all when asked how he went on a rescue mission that could have potentially hurt him.
He told WPVI that he “wasn’t worried about that.” “That doesn’t phase me,” he explained to the outlet. “I worried about saving a life.”
The selfless old man with lung issues was grateful to the Plymouth Community Ambulance and all the firefighters for taking good care of him after he exited the burning house and making sure he was fine.
Everyone is singing praises for Johnson especially the fire officials who always walk into such situations fully geared up and still encounter fatalities. “The Norristown Fire Department salutes Mr. Johnson for his service to our country and our community,” a statement on Facebook read.
Also, the municipality intends to honor Johnson properly at their next council meeting for his heroism, the statement read on. But before that ceremony, Magistrate Judge Gregory Scott, who is a firefighter as well, had his form of appreciation for Johnson. Scott presented him with a certificate of honor for his bravery and selflessness.
“I appreciate you so much,” said Scott, as he was presenting the certificate.