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Neighbor Rescues Couple From Fire

August 13, 1988

HALIFAX, Mass. (AP) _ A man woke up to the sound of his neighbors’ house burning, rushed over and roused them from sleep, then grabbed a ladder and helped the couple and their dog escape.

″He’s a fantastic person - I’ll tell you, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,″ Rosemary Foster said as she stood outside the burned shell of her home Thursday night.

″It’s just what a neighbor does for a neighbor,″ said Armand Rodrigue. Rodrigue realized something was amiss when he heard a popping sound at about 2:45 a.m. Thursday. The sound came from exploding propane containers as fire ripped through the home of Mrs. Foster and her husband, Walter, three houses down from Rodrigue’s house.

″I got in my truck and went over,″ Rodrigue said. ″I beeped the horn to try to wake them up.″

When the couple awoke and yelled for help from their second-floor window, Rodrigue said, ″I broke the front door screen with a piece of pipe, then kicked the front door in. But the smoke was real bad, so I couldn’t get in.″

Foster then broke the upstairs window and Rodrigue grabbed a ladder that lay alongside the house. He helped Mrs. Foster down, then helped Foster, who was carrying the couple’s dog, Trouble.

Fire Chief Kenneth Calvin said Rodrigue’s action saved the Fosters’ lives.

The fire, controlled about 45 minutes after Rodrigue rescued the couple, caused about $65,000 in damage.

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