ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a home went up in flames early Wednesday morning, an Abilene man ran directly into the smoke to drag out a man trapped inside because it was a home he recognized.
Rubble, ashes, and the smell of smoke are not things Hunter Buckley ever expected to surround his childhood friend’s home.
“I’m still kind of in shock. I don’t know what to feel,” Buckley shared.
Although Buckley and his friend had disconnected as they got older, he had wondered if he would see their family again. However, Buckley didn’t expect to reconnect by dragging his friend’s father out of the home.
“I was leaving work and going home, and I ended up realizing I left my phone at work,” Buckley explained.
This caused him to turn down a road he rarely drove on to get his phone, and that is when he saw the home up in flames and recognized it.
“I ran on the porch, started banging on the door, and I heard him kind of say, ‘What?’ and then start coughing, and then I heard a thud like he hit the floor,” Buckley recalled.
Once he made it inside, Buckley said it was too dark and smoky to see anything, and he did not have his phone to use as a flashlight. He decided to bring his motorcycle up to the door and use the light to get a better view.
“I started crawling because of how thick the smoke was, you know, just blindly looking for him, and I finally found him, and I drug him out across the street,” Buckley said.
This act of bravery is one neighbor Dinah Brown said she is thankful for.
“We’re grateful for you, and I’m sorry you left your phone, but I’m glad you left your phone,” said Brown. “It was just scary. I’ve just never seen anything like that.”
Brown shared that the homeowner always treated them kindly and even occasionally brought food for her family. When she heard that he had been rescued, she felt a sense of relief.
Now, Buckley is wondering what made him go down that street at the same time that his childhood friend’s father needed help.
“I don’t know. Something in me just told me, you know, go down this street to head back to work. I don’t know if it was meant to be or what it was, but yeah,” Buckley said.
The Abilene Fire Department estimated damages of about $40,000, and two dogs died in the fire. According to Hendrick, the man who was trapped inside the home is now in good condition.