Firefighter Reunites With Man He Saved 46 Years Ago

Buffalo News recounts rescue, reunion

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2014 4:52 PM CST

(Newser) – The Buffalo News has an amazing story of the reunion of a retired firefighter and the man whose life he saved 46 years ago. Vincent Fildes, 87, and Patrick Weatherspoon met at a cafe for the first time since Fildes rescued Weatherspoon—just 4 at the time—from his burning home. The boy was severely burned but survived, unlike his sister. Here's a taste of story, in quotes:

  • Weatherspoon: “I held her hand, and we were running all through the house,” he said, referring to his sister. “All we saw was smoke. We couldn’t see anything. I tripped on something, and I lost my sister’s hand. I don’t remember anything after that.”

  • Fildes: “I don’t know whether I heard you hollering, or I saw you,” he said to Weatherspoon. “All I know is that I reached in and pulled you out. ... I knew you were bad off."
  • Another firefighter: Referring to the sight of Fildes heading back into the home through acrid smoke. “He was sick, but he crawled back in because he knew there were children inside."
  • Weatherspoon's wife: “I would just like to say thank you, thank you,” she said to Fildes. “I’ve had 20 great years with this good man, and many more years to come.”
Click for the full story.

A screen shot from video of the reunion between Vincent Fildes and Patrick Weatherspoon.
A screen shot from video of the reunion between Vincent Fildes and Patrick Weatherspoon.   (Buffalo News)
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Video of the reunion.   (Buffalo News)

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