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Hero “neighbor” lives in his car

This headline sounds like a good story as it is but it only gets better from here. One of the neighbors, it turns out, is no longer living in the building. He’s living in his car.

Neighbors rescue man from blaze
Evicted former tenant is among those who help pull the resident to safety

But Gerald Arthur, who said he is Vietnam veteran and won commendations for valor, said he doesn’t view himself as a hero. “It was just something I had to do. I knew somebody was in there.” –

Neighbors rescue man from blaze
An evicted former tenant is among those who help pull the resident to safety

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Honolulu, HawaiiInfamous as a drug haven, Kalihi’s Akepo Lane can now also be called the home of a hero.

An elderly man was rescued from his burning first-floor studio apartment at Akepo and North King Street by neighbors late Tuesday night.

The man who stepped into the apartment to pull out the victim was Gerald Arthur, 61, who had lived in the building himself until he was evicted about three months ago.

“I lost my job, my old lady lost hers, we couldn’t pay the rent,” Arthur said. He moved into his car, “the Honda Inn,” parked a few hundred yards down Akepo. His girlfriend, who he said is suffering from cancer, is now staying with family in Ewa Beach.

About 10:41 p.m. Tuesday, Arthur was at a friend’s house on the second floor of the apartment when he heard a commotion downstairs.

Witness accounts said five or six men tried to break into the unit to save an elderly tenant, who was not identified yesterday.

At first, the rescuers ran to the back of the building, jumped a fence and tried to remove the jalousies, but the smoke was too thick, Arthur said.

So they went back to the front door and tried to break it down.

Gerald Arthur talked as if this act was nothing new to him. He knew someone needed help. Guess he should know something about that since he lost his apartment, his lady love lost her’s and had to leave because she has cancer. So there he was parked in his mobile “home” and he risked his life to save someone else.

But Arthur, who said he is Vietnam veteran and won commendations for valor, said he doesn’t view himself as a hero. “It was just something I had to do. I knew somebody was in there.”

So as you can see, this story is about hardship from average people losing the roof over their heads. It is about a homeless Vietnam Vet living in his car. It is about a side of the cancer battle we don’t often hear about. It is also a story of a man who served his country, lost everything but was still willing to give the last thing he had to save the life of someone else. His own life!

View the original article at Veterans Today

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