Homeless man details his role in fire rescue - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Homeless man details his role in fire rescue

Gerald Arthur Gerald Arthur

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Sixty-one years old and not a scratch on him. Surprising, given the night he'd just had. Late Tuesday night, Gerald Arthur and two other residents heard a fire alarm coming from unit 127 at the Island West Apartments in Kalihi.

"We pounded and pounded and we heard some noise and then we heard the fumbling on the lock. He didn't open the dead bolt," said Arthur.

Frustrated, Arthur ran outside, jumped over a fence and helped smash through a window.

"I stuck half of my body in, but then from the smoke and whatever was burning, I couldn't get in there," Arthur said.

With the fire spreading inside the unit, Arthur and two others pried the door open.

Another resident went in with a fire hose and sprayed the unit down, enough to give Arthur a chance to pull the victim out, an elderly man he had often seen.

"He had burns all over his body and his face was black. I didn't recognize who it was until we got him outside on a stretcher and then I was like, hey I know this old man," said Arthur.

The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Arthur says he was glad he just happened to be there. 

Arthur no longer lives in the complex. He lost his job a few months earlier and had to move out.

"I'm right down the road," Arthur said. "I call it the Honda Inn. It's a '95 Honda Civic. I live in a car."

His fiancé, who he said was recently diagnosed with cancer, had to move in with her family.

"When they told me what had happened and to the degree, I was like yeah that's Gerald," said Almaria Perry.

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