Clarksville Fire Chief honors man who rescued neighbor from fire

Clarksville’s fire chief honored a man who rescued his neighbor from a house fire.
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 7:17 PM CDT
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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -Clarksville’s fire chief honored a man who rescued his neighbor from a house fire. Just before 1:00 Wednesday morning, Charles Harris’s home was engulfed in flames within minutes of dropping a cigar near his bed, according to Clarksville fire officials.

“One minute I was laying there and the next minute it was on fire and the next minute he was helping me get away,” Charles Harris said as he reflected on those terrifying moments that felt like a lifetime.

Harris’s wheelchair was stuck near the door. Flames were shooting above his head. Harris said the heat radiating from the flames was growing more intense by the second as he yelled for help. His neighbor, Anthony Hinderliter just so happened to be outside at the time.

Hinderliter came running right away and whisked Harris away from the blaze.

“I really don’t know if I’d still be here if he ain’t come and got me unstuck,” Harris said

Clarksville Fire Chief Freddie Montgomery gave Hinderliter a certificate honoring him for his bravery. The firefighters who worked to extinguish the flames were there to thank him too.

“I wanted to present you with this community service recognition award for your actions for that day and thank you for your swift actions,” Montgomery told Hinderliter as he handed him the certificate.

“I’d do it again. I’d do it in a heartbeat for anybody, but I love Charlie,” Hinderliter said after receiving the recognition.

Hinderliter said he is glad he was up late that night because it was his birthday. He wanted to spend it playing his guitar outside. That way he wouldn’t wake up his family.

Harris says if his house caught fire any other day, the outcome would have been much different.

“There’s a chance you’d be looking over a casket and not sitting here... Talking to me,” Harris said as he fought back tears.

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