FAIRFAX, VA (WUSA9) - An off-duty firefighter grabbed a garden hose and fought flames sparked by lightning Friday, saving his neighbor's house as severe thunderstorms moved through the region.
"Wherever he's at, I really want to talk to you and shake your hand and say thank you," said the homeowner, Ray Villanueva, in an interview Friday. "This is a first responder pretty much responding to the call of duty."
Lightning hit the home on Ceralene Court around 7 p.m. while Villanueva was at his son's football practice. The off-duty firefighter is a neighbor who happened to be in the area, and arrived before units descended on the neighborhood.
"He grabbed my garden hose and started hosing down the fire," Villanueva said. "By the time we got here, I was probably two seconds behind the fire trucks, pretty much the fire was under control."
Fairfax first responders reported no injuries, and the homeowners were not being allowed back into the house late Friday.
The firefighter is also credited with saving the family's dog, going inside to make sure everyone was out before crews fully extinguished the flames.
"He spoke with my wife briefly, but we're looking to find him again," Villanueva said. "Neighbors first called me to let me know the house was on fire, and another neighbor was the first on the scene. We have much to be thankful for."
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