Georgia: Man crawls under smoke to rescue blind man

Georgia: Man crawls under smoke to rescue blind man

November 22nd, 2011 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A chicken plant worker is credited with saving the life of a blind 76-year-old man by crawling beneath thick smoke to rescue him from his burning home in Gainesville.

Both men were treated for smoke inhalation after the Monday morning fire, Gainesville Fire Chief Jon Canada told The Times of Gainesville.

Tray Ross, who works at a chicken plant nearby, said he ran toward the home after co-workers said it was on fire.

"I heard him hollering, 'I'm in here. I'm in here,'" Ross told WSB-TV.

Ross said he went inside, where heat from the flames was burning the inside of his nose as he inhaled. He began crawling on his belly, and he kept listening for the man's desperate shouts.

"I was crawling, and I finally grabbed his ankle," Ross recalls. He said the man grabbed his hand and he was able to pick him up and carry him out through the front door.

The rescuer made a split-second decision that resulted in saving the man's life, Canada said.

"Although his decision could have resulted in serious injury to himself and he did receive smoke inhalation injuries, his decision resulted in saving the life of the occupant of the home," he said.

The blind man was rescued shortly before firefighters arrived, Canada said. His name was not immediately available.