CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — The fire department in Aurora says a passerby saved a man who was in a burning home earlier this week.

It was early Tuesday and 51-year-old Ricardo Parra was on his way to the small bakery he owns in West Chicago, when he noticed a house on fire in Aurora.

“He decided that he would stop, and he basically saved one of the guys’ lives,” says Aurora Fire Department Capt. Jim Rhodes.

He says Parra went in and risked his own life in the fire and heavy smoke.

Parra’s son, Andy, says his father told him he pulled an elderly man out and the man initially wasn’t responding.

“So he started to rub his chest. He didn’t know what to do. My dad started panicking himself, too. He was asking the guy, ‘Are you OK?  Are you OK?’

“The guy – all he did was face him and shake his head, ‘Yeah.’”

Parra says the family is proud of their father.

“He said it was just the moment. (He said) ‘I couldn’t believe I did it.’

“My brother and my sister were like, ‘You have guts to do it. We’re really proud of you.’”

Still, the family cautioned the elder Parra from being a hero if the circumstances ever arise again.

“You got lucky this time,” the son says.

Fire officials say the Good Samaritan left the scene and continued on his way to work. Parra says his father has owned the bakery for about 15 years.

He says Ricardo Parra came to the United States from Puebla, Mexico, “for a better life, for a better opportunity.”

 

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