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Disabled veteran helps save 83-year-old man from burning home

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83-year-old man rescued from Elder Road house fire. (Source: WMC Action News 5) 83-year-old man rescued from Elder Road house fire. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
A disabled Vietnam veteran is one of two neighbors who went into a burning home and rescued an 83-year-old man from serious harm or worse. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) A disabled Vietnam veteran is one of two neighbors who went into a burning home and rescued an 83-year-old man from serious harm or worse. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
The oldest son says he's glad neighbors were there to make sure his dad got out in time. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) The oldest son says he's glad neighbors were there to make sure his dad got out in time. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Ed "June" Jefferson, 83, moves slowly. He uses a cane to get around.

Wade Hunt, 63, served in Vietnam. He moves slowly, too. And while he can walk, he is much more comfortable on his motorized scooter.

Thursday morning, Jefferson's home, in which he has lived for the past 43 years, went up in flames.

The Memphis Fire Department says two men went into the fire and rescued Jefferson. One of those men is Hunt, who lives just around the block and someone Jefferson describes as a longtime friend.

"I guess you feel like, you know, if you put other people first you forget about yourself," said Hunt. "So when I made that curve I seen it was Mr. Jefferson's house. I said, 'Oh boy, where he at?' They said he in the house. And I thought, he need to come up outta there."

The neighbor grabbed a water hose and started spraying the flames with no luck. Hunt says the house was filling up with thick smoke.

"Smoke was everywhere," said Hunt. "I was scared the ceiling was gonna fall in. I was trying to get him outta there. You can get another house, but you can't get another body."

Jefferson says he was in the process of getting out as soon as a neighbor alerted him to the fire.

"I was laying in bed, knock on the door. I said, 'Lord who's that knocking on the door.' And he said, 'The house is one fire,'" said Jefferson.

The oldest son says he is glad neighbors were there to make sure his dad got out in time.

"By the time I got around he was already sitting out, and I appreciate that because it was blazing real good," said son Victor Jefferson.

The back wall: gone. Appliances: ruined. Kitchen: gutted.

"I hate he lost his house but you know you can get another house," said Hunt.

From a comfortable seat on a neighbors porch, Jefferson nods his head and agrees.

"Yeah, thank God I'm still here."

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