NBC10 was there for a heartwarming reunion between an elderly man and the local college students who saved his life after his Camden, New Jersey home caught fire.
“You saved my life,” 90-year-old Albert Parker said to Rutgers-Camden student Jonathan Perez on Monday. “Thank you.”
The fire started around midnight Thursday in Parker’s home on Cooper Street, right across from Rutgers-Camden University housing. Perez, Matteo Resanovic and other students spotted the flames and called 911. They then tried to alert people inside and around the burning home.
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“It was just a rush,” Perez said. “Our first reaction was to go and help. We didn’t think much of it. Just to get people out safe.”
The front door of the burning home was locked. Resanovic says he broke the glass with his elbow and his fist to get inside.
“I went through the building, searched through the building,” Resanovic said.
Resanovic, Perez and a third student, Corey Zytko, rushed to the second floor of the home and found Parker in bed. They managed to get Parker outside to safety. Parker’s 62-year-old son John died in the blaze however.
While Albert’s family continues to mourn, they remain grateful to his heroes.
“We had one tragedy,” said Jamie Parker, Albert Parker’s son. “Thank God the other one didn’t happen and my father was saved. We want everybody to know how thankful we are for what they did.”