Good Samaritans Save Neighbor

Friday, January 6, 2012 - 3:04pm

Man rushes into burning home to help disabled neighbor.

Flames gutted much of a Miami Gardens, Florida duplex Thursday afternoon.

Clouds of smoke hugged the home as flames tore through the windows and doors of the unit on the right-hand side.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was able to put out the flames before the fast-moving fire spread to the other unit.

Even before firefighters got to the scene, other heroes - Mike Abels and his wife - stepped in to save a senior citizen's life.

Ms. Ada Manning has prosthetic knee caps and depends on a wheelchair to move around.

"It's a new year. Thank God I'm alive! I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for my neighbors. I'd probably be dead," said Manning, brought to tears by her gratitude.

As the smoke invaded her apartment, she was fast asleep.

Her neighbors across the street immediately thought of her safety.

"When she saw me she just flung into my arms and I told her we have time. Take it easy and I told her to walk real slowly," Mike Abels said.

Abels didn't have to struggle to get to the woman's bedroom because Manning had forgotten to lock the front door.

She said that small act saved her life.

"I never ever leave my door unlocked. Thank God the door was unlocked for them to get me," she said.

Despite all the property damage, everyone managed to escape unharmed.

The tenant next door could be seen walking firefighters through what likely used to be her kitchen as they conducted their investigation.

Manning said her unit has so much smoke damage firefighters told her it was unsafe for her to spend the night.

She said she would likely stay with one of her children.

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