ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After being dragged out of his home that went up in flames, an Abilene man is not only speaking out about what he lost, but thanking the one who saved his life. 

Chad Montgomery lost his home to a fire last Thursday. As he was trapped inside, a young man just happened to be passing by.

Hunter Buckley turned around because he left his phone at work, but then saw smoke and flames coming from a familiar area. Buckley recognized the home on fire as his childhood friend’s home, and he bucked up the courage to drag out his childhood friend’s father, saving his life. 

After Montgomery invited KTAB/KRBC to see the remains of his home, we invited Buckley for a reunion with the man he saved. They instantly embraced one another and through deep sighs, Montgomery told Buckley, “Thank you, man… You didn’t have to do that.”

Unable to remember what happened that night because he passed out while suffering smoke inhalation, Montgomery is now out of the hospital and recovering just as quickly as he can. He said doctors told him he would have only lived 10 minutes longer had Buckley not show up to his rescue.

“How did I make it out of there? I mean, how did all of this turn out? How am I standing here? And I mean, hell, I’m looking at why,” wondered Montgomery, pointing to Buckley. “I can’t give up after a second chance like that.” 

Both men looked to the remains, wondering how either one of them made it out alive. While some residents have called Buckley a hero, he doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t feel like I am,” Buckley admitted. “I just feel like I just did something that every human should do. You see someone, you’re supposed to help. Our grandfather always taught us that.”

However, Montgomery immediately responded, “You are a hero in my book.”

He also did not have insurance on his home, meaning he lost everything, including his two dogs he was used to greeting him at his front door every day with big smiles.

Samuel Garcia, a local State Farm Insurance Agent, said not having home insurance is becoming more common because of inflation.

“People are having to make really hard decisions on the rate increases that have happened with every company across the State of Texas,” explained Garcia. He continued to detail how being insured is especially important in this part of Texas because of the intensity of storms we have faced over the past few years.

“There are ways to be able to manage your cost without necessarily getting rid of your insurance. For example, increasing your deductibles and insuring your property for catastrophic losses,” Garcia suggested. “You actually have to decide, ‘do I risk everything, or do I go ahead [and] come up with some type of coverage?'”

Follow this link to help Montgomery rebuild his life, set up by his family.

While Montgomery works to rebuild his life, he said his priority is spreading an important message for everyone to make sure a smoke detector is in their homes. However, there is also one other thing Montgomery wanted residents of the Big Country to know.

“There are heroes out there, and there are few. That’s why they’re heroes. Thank God for this man,” added Montgomery.