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Catoosa Man Who Saved Son From Burning Home Still Recovering

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The April fire destroyed Girdner's home. The April fire destroyed Girdner's home.
"I would've did it for anybody, not just my son," Girdner said. "I hate to see anybody get burned up." "I would've did it for anybody, not just my son," Girdner said. "I hate to see anybody get burned up."

A Catoosa man who nearly died after he raced into his burning home to save his 9-year-old son is finally starting to show signs of improvement, after nearly two months in the hospital.

Scooby Girdner may have lost everything he owned in the fire, but he didn't lose his son, and that's all that matters to him.

"I walked 300 feet yesterday," Girdner said. "By myself."

Girdner's successes are measured in baby steps. Just three days ago, he was able to talk for the first time in nearly two months. He can walk a little and even eat some real food, even though it's soft.

It's a big turnaround from the month he was in a medically-induced coma.

04/20/2013 Related Story: Catoosa Man Injured In Overnight Fire

When he woke up, he didn't remember any of that time in the hospital, but he will never forget the flames, the intense burning heat and knowing his 9-year-old son Garrett was inside.

"I wrapped around him and stepped out of the house," Girdner said. "The door was 8-9 feet away, but it was like an inferno -- real hot, burned my hair off, everything else -- but I saved him. I put my body around him and stepped outside."

Acting on adrenaline and instinct, Scooby thought he was fine at first, but then, he went downhill. Eventually, he couldn't breathe. His kidneys shut down.

For a while, doctors weren't sure he would make it.

He's still surprised just a few seconds inside the fire did so much damage, but he says he'd do it again in a heartbeat.

"I would've did it for anybody, not just my son," Girdner said. "I hate to see anybody get burned up."

04/22/2013 Related Story: Catoosa Dad Clings To Life After Rescuing Son From House Fire

It's hard for Garrett to see his daddy struggling and he worries if he is somehow to blame. But Garrett was sound asleep on a couch when the fire started and there was nothing he could have done to change things.

Hugging his daddy helps.

Girdner: "Don't cry. I love you son."

Garrett: "I love you."

Girdner: "Daddy didn't get hurt because of you. I'm here because the house caught fire, alright?"

Girdner doesn't know when he'll be able to return home.

He's just thankful to be alive and is willing to take it day by day.

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