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Community hails Abilene man as hero for saving life in Taylor County house fire

By Annabelle Tuggle,


TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas ( KTAB/KRBC ) – An Abilene man is being called a hero for saving a life in a house fire, north of town, early Tuesday morning. Usually considering himself to be a quiet person, keeping up with just a small group of friends, strangers on Facebook are recognizing Evander Rodriquez as a hero.

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Rodriquez was able to save a man’s life by carrying him out of a burning home, “I’m grateful for it, but I was mainly just – I was reacting.”

As a correctional officer with the Robertson Unit, Rodriquez drives along Highway 351 just about every morning to get to work. But around 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, he noticed something he described as a bright orange light coming from a home. When he got closer, he realized it was the house in flames, making this trip to work one he will never forget.

“I was put in the position, for sure. I’m glad, at least, I was able to do something and the friend I made today was too.” Rodriquez explained. “As I was going up to the door, I was hollering. I could hear dogs, but then an old man finally answered, and he was like, ‘I’m inside. I can’t see. I can’t see.'”

Rodriquez told KTAB/KRBC he busted through the door, and said he was in the home for five minutes, but he could barely breathe because of the smoke. He pointed out that no one knows how long the man he saved was trapped in the house.

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“I picked him up like a child, and ended up running with him to the front,” described Rodriquez.

After Rodriquez and another stranger helped him carry the man out of the house, he knew they needed to get away fast because he noticed propane tanks.

Rodriquez continued, “As soon as we turn back to look at the house, you can hear two little explosions go off from the propane.”

Monica Norman, Rodriquez’s mother, said she got a text from her son about the fire.

“I was like, ‘you ran into a house that was on fire?'” Norman questioned in disbelief.

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As thankful as Norman is that her son is alive today, she told KTAB/KRBC, “I’m proud of him, but it’s scary. I can’t believe he did that.”

Rodriquez said he did it because he knew if he did not act quickly, someone could die. He also said he wants others to know about the other person who was there helping him, but we have been unable to get in contact with that man or the victim of the fire.

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