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Teen pulls man from Kingsport house fire

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:44:24 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 10 2013 11:00:00 PM CST
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KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

An afternoon fire at a Lynn Garden home on Wednesday turned into a lesson in bravery when a teenager pulled his neighbor out of the burning home.

We're told 16-year-old Lee Harper called Kingsport Fire Department crews  to 310 Martin St. at around 3:15 p.m.

"About that time I couldn't see the house cause of the smoke," said Harper, who lives across the street on Akers Ave.

He told us that he rushed over to the woman standing outside the burning home once he saw the smoke.

"I said ma'am are you okay? and she said no, my son is down in the basement, go and get him," Harper said.

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He told us he went to the doorway and saw feet inside.

"I thought is this real?" Harper said. "I didn't know what to expect."

We're told there was fire coming out of the basement windows at that point. Harper went inside anyway and another man came over to help. Together they rescued the person inside.

"Me and the other gentleman, we grabbed him by the feet and dragged him out," said Harper.

The man who helped Harper was no longer at the scene when we arrived.

Harper told us the man they rescued was conscious after they pulled him from the home. The Kingsport Fire Department told us that man is now at Holston Valley Medical Center recovering. Harper is very lucky he's not in the hospital too, they said.

"Fortunately it worked out well today but we never want anyone to enter a home because they don't have the proper protective equipment on," said Barry Brickey, the fire department's spokesperson.

Brickey said that most fire injuries come from the smoke, which he told us can be as hot as the flames.

"They were fortunate enough to see him just inside the door," said Brickey.

He told us the best thing to do when you see a fire is to call 9-1-1 and wait for help.

Brickey also told us that when he got on the scene he was happy to hear the fire alarm still going off inside the home because, he said, it can save your life.