Good Samaritan pulls man from fire

April 7, 2009 6:47:50 PM PDT
A man washing his car at a car wash on Mission Boulevard in Hayward Tuesday noticed smoke coming from a nearby shed. He is now being called a hero after he put his life on the line to rescue a man from a burning shed.SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

"I parked my car right here. As I got out to use this garbage can, there was a shed right here and smoke was coming out of both sides of it," recalled Daniel Galino. "She burned to the ground," he said.

Galindo wasted no time. He immediately jumped over a brick wall and found that a man was trapped inside the small shed.

"I didn't know a human being could burn like that. The skin was burning. I had to put him out. I actually had to take off my shirt and pat him out," said Galindo describing the experience.

He and another man helped move the victim to a safe location. Before firefighters arrived Galindo had knocked on other doors, yelling for people to come out.

"I think the outcome would have been more severe. Anytime we can get someone out of a fire quickly they're going to receive less injuries," said Deputy Chief Mark Bennett.

"I thought he was a special person to go do that. I know some other people helped him, but he was the man on the spot. Great guy," said Paul Smith, owner of A Tiny Bubble Car Wash.

The man Galindo rescued suffered serious burns. Fire officials have confirmed he was transferred from Eden Hospital to Saint Francis Memorial Hosptal in San Francisco. Investigators have yet to talk to him.

No one was inside the home next to the shed. It had once been used as a meth lab, but one month ago Hayward police shut it down. Investigators believe the victim was a squatter looking for a place to sleep.

"I was raised to try to help. I couldn't leave a fire burning with someone in there without trying to do something," said Galindo. "That's what I did. I just did whatever I could."

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