Neighbor saves man from burning home, explosion

Michael Campbell surveys the damage of the home where he rescued a man from a fire. (FOX19)
Michael Campbell surveys the damage of the home where he rescued a man from a fire. (FOX19)
The house after the fire and explosion. (FOX19)
The house after the fire and explosion. (FOX19)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) – - A Hamilton resident is being hailed as a hero for rescuing a man out of a burning home moments before it nearly collapsed from an explosion.

Michael Campbell was driving on Ross Avenue when he saw a house on fire and heard screams for help. That's when Campbell risked his own life to save a stranger.

"I mean I just got to get him out. There's somebody in trouble get to them and help them," Campbell told FOX19.

It all started on Friday around 3:30 p.m. inside a vacant Hamilton home. A man was inside working to rehab the house when the fire began. Officials have yet to determine what started the fire, but the blaze resulted in an explosion that ripped the roof off of the home.

The roof caved right after Campbell went inside the burning home and found the worker pinned under a chimney on the second floor.

"I got him out from underneath that … The roof to the dining room and kitchen had collapsed on us at that point in time and I got him down to the bottom of the steps," Campbell described. He hoisted the worker on his shoulders and was almost outside when two other neighbors ran in to help. Together they exited the house with the worker just in time.

"They got half way across the street and it blew up again," Campbell said of more explosions in the home.

With an explosion of that force, Hamilton Sergeant Ed Burns said the outcome could have been much worse.

"In this case everybody was lucky," said Burns.

The victim was severely burned and the good Samaritans took him across the street until paramedics arrived.

"He had skin peeling off him, bleeding from his mouth, he looked pretty bad," said Simone Smiley, who offered her yard until authorities arrived. He was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where is condition is reportedly critical.

The cause of the fire and explosion remain under investigation. The home is a total loss.

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