DCW50 Heroes: Two neighbors rescue man from inside burning Northeast D.C. home

WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. Fire and EMS are thanking two men for courageously going inside a burning Northeast home to pull the homeowner outside to safety.

Frances Penn says she called 911 when she saw smoke pouring out her next-door neighbor's second floor on the 2800 block of Franklin Street on Wednesday evening.

When she saw Ewan Plant and Gregory Langley outside the home, who just happened to be driving home and saw the smoke, she screamed that John was still inside.

Neighbors say he uses a cane to walk and likely could not have gotten out on his own.

"I said somebody's in that house, would you please go knock the door down," she says.

Without hesitation, Plant says he followed Langley to the front door. Both took turns kicking until the door fell open.

"The smoke was getting thick coming down, so we wrapped some clothes around him and helped him to his feet, and then out onto the porch," says Plant.

D.C. Fire and EMS took the homeowner to the hospital, in addition to a firefighter who took a substantial fall. A spokesman says he is doing well and was released from the hospital on Thursday.

"It was human instinct," says Langley. "I would want somebody to help my dad if my dad was in the house and it was on fire."

DCW50 spoke to John outside the home on Thursday. He had just gotten released from the hospital and did not want to go on camera, but credits the men for saving his life.

He said at one point, he felt that he inhaled a lot of smoke and thought, "I'm going to die here."

Penn says while the entire experience was terrifying, she is extremely grateful the two men showed up.

"They had to kick that door about five times. If they didn't go there, there's no way he would have survived," she says. "A neighborhood is more than just having a house. God directed all of this to make sure he was safe."