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Volunteer firefighters in Hawkinsville run into burning house to save couple

Matt Goss and Chris Clark had a life-or-death decision: go in without any of their gear or stand outside and listen to screams they heard coming from the home.

HAWKINSVILLE, Ga. — It's something you think may never happen to you. Imagine you're sitting watching TV, and your house goes up in flames.

That's what happened to 74-year-old Larry and 86-year-old Margaret Walker in Hawkinsville.

They had some pretty special guys who jumped in to rescue them.

"You hear that 'zrrroooommmpppp' -- I heard that twice," Larry described.

The Walkers didn't know that their lives stood in grave danger a few minutes after that pop.

The firemen, Matt Goss and Chris Clark, live close by. When they got there, they had a life or death decision: go in without any of their gear or stand outside and listen to screams they heard coming from the home. 

"They grabbed us, and we were gone. We were out in a minute. It was surprising how fast it went," Margaret described.

There was a lot of emotion in that minute.

"When we went in, you could not see her face. All you could see were the bottom of her legs in her recliner and the bottom of her phone. She still had 911 on her phone," Clark described. "Once I got her up and started dragging her, the adrenaline just trying to help her and get her out of that house, that's what got me to do that."

"The guy was in the wheelchair, so we just wheeled him out," Goss recalled.

"When they got us out of the house, turned around, and it looked like a gas heater when you light it," Larry said.

The fire left scars.

Scars can heal, and timber can be replaced.

But the hungry flames could have quickly enveloped everyone in this story.

"A few more minutes, that ceiling would have been falling on all of us," Margaret said.

"I don't think it's anything. Any other fireman on this department would have done just like we did," Chris projected.

And that may ring true.

But the fact is these guys ran into a burning building on Watson Street, they saved lives and they'd do it again.

Credit: Suzanne Lawler
Credit: Chris Clark

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