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Firefighter Saves Boy In 3-Story Drop From Burning Roxbury Home

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Boston Fire Lieutenant Glenn McGillivray gives Xavier a kiss after catching him.

Boston Fire Lieutenant Glenn McGillivray gives Xavier a kiss after catching him.

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BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston firefighter insists he’s not a hero, even though he made a life-saving catch during a 6-alarm fire in Roxbury.

The fire destroyed about 20 apartments in a building on Wardman Road early Monday morning.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

When firefighters arrived they saw heavy fire and smoke everywhere.

“We had about nine people hanging on ledges and windows, hanging out, threatening to jump,” Boston Fire Lieutenant Glenn McGillivray told WBZ-TV.

McGillivray talks to WBZ’s Jim Smith

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

Firefighters tried to assure them that they had ladders coming to rescue them.

But then McGillivray saw something.

Judith Lamb was on the third floor with her 6-year-old grandson Xavier.

“She had (him) hanging by one hand off of her as she sat on the ledge, so he was dangling. I knew she wouldn’t be able to hold him forever until we were able to affect a rescue off a ladder,” McGillivray said.

“At that point, I moved underneath and instructed her to go ahead and let her (grandson) come down and I was lucky enough to be able to catch him.”

“As soon as I grabbed him, I was extremely thankful I was able to do it and I immediately passed him off because we had more rescues.”

Firefighters then used a ladder to save Xavier”s grandmother.

“(It was) the first time I’ve ever had to make a rescue like that and I hope it’s the last time I have to make a rescue like that,” McGillivray said of his life-saving catch.

“The way he was flailing about, I was just hoping that he wasn’t going to, in effect, be too far out from me where I positioned myself, hoping to catch him.”

McGillivray said he saw the boy a short time later on the sidewalk, gave him a pat, and told him he was glad he’s o.k.

Does he believe he’s a hero?

“No. We all work together. Everybody plays a part in it.”

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