MARSHALL-SHADELAND (KDKA) – A local man is being called a hero for risking his life to save another.
It was Sunday, around 1 a.m. when a home on Marshall Avenue in Marshall-Shadeland went up in flames.
The fire was intense and there’s not much left to the home. However, the outcome could have been much worse if it weren’t for a brave couple driving by.
Paul Hinerman and his fiancé, Angie Puhac, were traveling on a ramp just off of Route 65.
Angie noticed something bright out of the corner of her eye. After a closer look, she realized there was a fire.
“I was panicking. I was on the phone with 911. I was laying on the horn of the truck trying to get anybody’s attention to come outside,” Puhac said.
Thinking someone may have been trapped inside, Hinerman rushed into the home.
“I just kicked the door in, ran past the kitchen and there was the gentleman sleeping on the couch. I just grabbed him up and started dragging him out. He was asking what I was doing to him. He had no idea,” Hinerman said.
Hinerman said the man, Ralph Lowe Sr., he pulled to safety is partially blind. He was baking cookies and fell asleep, but didn’t appear to be hurt.
“After I got him outside, he was thanking us and saying we saved his life. He would never have got out of there,” Hinerman said.
Paul and Angie had their two sons in the car. The boys watched as the situation unfolded and are proud of their dad.
As for Hinerman, he says looking back, he can’t believe he ran right in knowing the dangers, but he would do it again.
“I just hope other people would do the same thing if they had come across it. Just glad everybody got out alive, everybody is okay,” Hinerman said.
A building inspector was called to the scene and said this home is condemned. There was also some damage to a neighboring home.
Monday night, Lowe’s family reached out to Hinerman and his family.
Watch Kym Gable’s report:
His daughter, Diana Lowe, told KDKA’s Kym Gable she wants to meet his rescuer, Hinerman.
Lowe said, “He knocked the door down, where did that come from? It was nothing but God and we are so thankful that he was persistent and saved my father’s life and we just want to meet him and thank him.”
“I know he probably doesn’t consider himself a hero, but he definitely is a hero to us,” she added. “He’s the reason my dad is alive today. Truly.”
KDKA put Hinerman and Lowe in touch with each other late Monday.