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Man who lost family in house fire 20 years ago rescues neighbor from burning home

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Posted at 10:50 AM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 13:19:26-04

ROWLEY, Mass. — A Massachusetts man who lost his family in a house fire 20 years ago recently rescued a neighbor from her burning home.

WCVB reports that a 2001 fire claimed the lives of Mark Collum’s wife, Lisa, and their two young daughters, 4-year-old Lindsay and 5-month-old Carly.

Lisa and Lindsay were trapped on the third floor of the home, and the mother reportedly dropped her younger daughter, Carly, out of a third-floor window in an attempt to save her life. She sadly passed away at a local hospital, according to WCVB.

Mark was not home when the devastating fire broke out back then.

Now, the commercial fisherman is being called a hero for jumping into action to save a woman who found herself in a similar situation early Sunday morning in Rowley.

Mark told WCVB that he heard someone yelling “fire,” so he threw on his clothes and spotted his neighbor, Deb Shanahan, in her kitchen that was filling up with smoke and flames. He managed to get his neighbor and himself out of the house in time.

“And I just grabbed her and took her out. You know, I had a little smoke in my lungs, same with her. So, I just took her outside and things worked out well, thank God,” said Mark.

Because of Mark’s heroic actions, firefighters say his neighbor only suffered minor injuries and is expected to be OK.

“I’m just glad I was here and did the right thing, that’s all. Just hopefully Deb’s alright and everything worked out well today, so I’m kinda glad,” said Mark.

The cause of Sunday’s fire remains under investigation.