Overland Park man saves elderly neighbor from fire caused by lightning strike

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Neighbors are calling an Overland Park man a hero, after he saved an elderly neighbor from a burning apartment building. Investigators say lightning hit the building sparking a big fire during Monday night's storms.

Just after 6 p.m., at the height of a severe storm, firefighters say lightning apparently hit the roof of an apartment building near 123rd and Antioch. Thankfully nobody was hurt and neighbors say it's all because of one man who sprang into action.

"I heard a crash and went outside,” said Jeremy Barnes, who after seeing the raging fire and hearing smoke detectors going off, wasted no time to warning his neighbors of the ensuing danger.

The overland park father ran around, banged on door after door and screamed to everyone to get out. Six units in all were affected by the fire.

91-year-old Josephine Basgall

91-year-old Josephine Basgall

Everybody quickly got out safely, but when Barnes realized 91-year-old Josephine Basgall was still inside her burning unit, he ran inside the unit and rescued his elderly neighbor, just in the nick of time.

"Opened the door and carried her out over to our house,” he said. "How scared was she? She didn't really know what was going on. It was pouring rain and tornado sirens going off."

"She’s pretty feeble so I just hauled her out to my house," said Barnes, who says he’s no hero despite what his neighbors say.

“No, I think not, not a hero at all. Not even close. Anyone would've done it,” he said.

According to FOX 4’s Robert Townsend, Mrs. Basgall is now safe and dry, staying with relatives.

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