By Paul Burton

TEWKSBURY (CBS) – An off-duty Tewksbury firefighter raced to save his neighbors as flames broke out at their home early Sunday morning.

With very little time to respond, Billy Gosse said he ran toward the burning house. Inside was Paul and Kelly Costello and their two kids, who were sound asleep when the fire broke out at around 1:30 a.m.

“I went up and started pounding on front door to wake ’em up and get ’em up,” said Gosse. “Got them out of the house and made sure everybody was out. The kids, they got a couple beautiful little kids, an 8-year-old little boy and an 11-year-old little boy who my kids hang around with and they are like family to us.”

tewksburyfire Off Duty Tewksbury Firefighter Saves Neighbors From Fire

(Photo Credit: Anthony DeVito)

As Gosse was busy getting the family out of the house, a truck that was parked in the driveway also went up in flames and like a ball of fire, it went rolling down the driveway into the street.

“Just a chaos scene. There was flames coming down street from the truck. There was some explosions going on, from I think there was air bag explosions, and there was some gas tanks in his garage,” said Gosse.

The burning truck crashed into the driveway of neighbor George Rapoze and then burned his neighbor’s fence and knocked out the power.

“The truck rolled down here on fire,” said Rapoza. “It was totally engulfed in flames.”

Gosse used his own extinguishers to try and put the truck fire out.

Firefighters eventually put the blaze out. Neighbors, though, said they are so fortunate to have Gosse as a neighbor.

“Billy is awesome,” said neighbor Doug Beek. “He risked his life. He would have risked his life to go into the house. There is no doubt in my mind he would’ve done that.”

“Its nice to hear, but…I’m just happy everyone got out safe,” said Gosse.

No one was injured.

The Costello family is staying with friends in the area.

The fire is still under investigation.


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