Rescuer Discusses Fire That Injured Two

The man who helped pull Bobby Harbour from his burning house Wednesday described the chain of events to WOWT Six News.

A fire that sparked in the living room destroyed Laurie Saenz and Bobby Harbour's home.

"It's a sad moment when you look and you see somebody's life land here in ashes," said Rich Hopkins, the business manager at St James Seton School, which is directly across the street from the house.

A student at the school first noticed smoke coming from the house from the classroom's window and alerted the teacher. The teacher then informed the school's administration and Rich Hopkins went to check out the fire.

"I got to the vantage point of the house and I could tell that there was actually smoke coming out so from this point on I ran all the way down," said Hopkins, as he walked the path he took to the home that day.

When he reached the house, Hopkins said Laurie Saenz was sitting on the side steps of the house, covered in smoke and hysterical. She told Hopkins there was someone still inside.

"I could not see into the house but I could tell I was hitting something with the door and kind of knelt down at which time I could see
him laying there," said Hopkins.

The school's custodian, Tom Brown, ran over to help Hopkins and together they pulled the unconscious Harbour from the house to safety.

"To me this was just a natural instinct to say, okay, I'm going to do what I can to help this person, and by God's grace, he was right here at the door and I was able to get to him and pull him out," said Hopkins.

Saenz is at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in critical condition, and Harbour is at Nebraska Medical Center in an unknown condition.

Hopkins said the students now see the charred debris that remains, and they still ask what they can do to help the couple.

"At school we instill in our kids that we love all people and we're supposed to do the right thing when confronted with obstacles."


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