Neighbors Grateful For Bravery Of Mannford Man In Apartment Fire

Tuesday, November 13th 2012, 11:05 pm
By: News On 6

A fiery explosion sent two men into action Monday evening.

Investigators say a buildup of natural gas sparked the fire in the Mannford apartments.

Benjamin Mahony said he only met his neighbor a couple of times, but knew he had to do something to try to save her life.

Benjamin was at the building next door when he heard an explosion.

"It's like somebody threw a grenade over there or something and then nobody knows what to do, so I just started helping as many people as I could help," he said.

11/13/2012 Related Story: Investigators Determine Mannford Apartment Fire Caused By Natural Gas Leak

Benjamin said he hopped over debris and pulled a man out of a downstairs apartment, then ran into Dezarae Greer.

"I was like, ‘Please, please my aunt's upstairs,' and he was gone without even thinking. He just ran in," Greer said.

Greer said her aunt was sleeping when the fire started.

"She was scared and kind of reluctant to come out," Greer said.

But that didn't stop Benjamin.

"I had to punch the wall and pull it on top of us, because the ceiling was coming in on top of us, dripping hot tar on top of us," Benjamin said.

That tar gave the woman second and third degree burns on her back.

Benjamin was burned on his arms, neck and head, but he said he would do it all again if it meant saving a life.

11/12/2012 Related Story: At Least Five Injured In Mannford Apartment Fire

"It's nothing anybody else wouldn't have done in the same situation, I hope," he said.

While Benjamin was inside the burning building, his 11-year-old daughter, Keira, stood back and watched, hoping her father would come out alive.

"I just ran outside and I was really scared," Keira said. "He's almost like a hero. He is my hero anyway."

Greer said she is also is grateful for Benjamin's quick actions.

"I just want to say thanks to the guys who helped her, because without them, she wouldn't be here," Greer said.

Greer said her aunt is still in the hospital's burn unit, but she is doing well.