ARLINGTON (CBS) – An elderly woman was rescued from her burning home in Arlington by neighbors and an off-duty police officer.

Several people helped break down the door of the home on Webster Street and got the woman to safety.

Arlington house fire. (Photo credit Arlington Patch)

Arlington house fire. (Photo credit Arlington Patch)

John Flynn was having his dinner when he saw the flames. He ran down the street and saw that his neighbor, Mrs. Walsh, didn’t know her house was on fire.

“Mrs. Walsh is an elderly lady,” said Flynn. “She’s 85-years-old. She was in bed at the time.”

Her daughter, also at home, had no idea what was happening in the back of the house.

“I tried to punch out the window and the door, unfortunately it’s stronger than my hand and then all of a sudden someone produced a hammer,” said Flynn.

John and other good Samaritans broke down the door. Among the rescuers was off-duty Arlington Police officer Michael Hogan. He was training for the Pan Mass Challenge when he saw the flames and helped with the rescue.

“She got out of bed with help and we helped her out downstairs,” Flynn said.

Despite the damage to the house no one was injured.

“You do it for a stranger,” says Flynn, “but it feels a little bit better when it’s someone you know.”

Flynn says the whole rescue only took a few minutes and there were three or four people involved. Mrs. Walsh is now recovering with family.


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