O/O rescues neighbors from inferno (June 01, 2002)

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CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – Ken Boyle’s recent actions have certainly put him among a special class of people and yet he is simply thankful for being there.

Boyle, a self-employed trucker, entered the house of his elderly neighbors after it was engulfed by flames.

“They’re good neighbors. What else would a neighbor do but help?” the 55-year-old Boyle modestly says to local media.

The fire broke out around 4 p.m. in the garage of the two-storey home at 36 Westbury Cres. in Cambridge, Ont.

Boyle’s 15-year-old daughter Michelle discovered the blaze and while Boyle investigated, she called 911.

He could hear the shouts of neighbor Bruno Serwaczek, 80, from within the flames. Plunging into the black smoke, which had saturated the entire home, rescuing the couple proved to be more difficult than Boyle expected as they seemed reluctant to abandon their home.

“I was yelling at them and doing everything, but they wouldn’t listen,” Boyle says. “I wrestled them both out. They didn’t want to leave.”

Boyle pulled Anastasia Serwaczek, 78, outdoors then ran back into the home to retrieve her husband. Anastasia followed moments later, necessitating another rescue by Boyle, dizzy and out of breath after less than two minutes inside the smoke-filled home.

Finally outside, Boyle and his two charges waited by the street for firefighters to arrive.

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