CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – When 54-year-old William Chepren spotted smoke in a backyard across the street from his home Saturday afternoon, he jumped into action.
“That’s what I did,” Chepren said, “held my breath as best as I could.”
Chepren told News Channel 8 he made contact with his neighbor, who was worried about her son.
“I heard her screaming,” he said, “so I went in to assist and I guess she had found her son incapacitated on the floor.”
Despite the smoke and a burst of flames that charred a mattress, Chepren said he managed to drag the man in his 20s to safety.
“I pulled him out through the bedroom and through the house to the front yard,” he said.
Clearwater Fire Rescue said the fire was limited to that single bedroom. The son is recovering after he was transported to a hospital as a trauma alert. Chepren said another neighbor grabbed a garden hose to put out the flames.
“There’s a few heroes in this story,” he said, even though he’s reluctant to call himself one. “Like I was telling you I almost didn’t want to do the interview just because I’m more nervous of that than running into a burning place.”
He spoke with his neighbor on Sunday.
“She was very thankful,” he said. “What can you say to somebody that’s saved your son’s life, there’s no words for it.”
No words other than this heroic neighbor was in the right place at the right time.