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Nowthen Man Runs Into Burning House, Saves Woman

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(credit: CBS) Tracy Perlman
Twin Cities native Tracy Perlman is an Emmy Award-winning producer and...
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NOWTHEN, Minn. (WCCO) — Ramsey firefighters say a man, who didn’t hesitate to save a woman he didn’t know, is a hero.

Mike Coolidge was driving to work Tuesday morning when he saw smoke blanket the road ahead of him. Quickly calling 911, he drove to the house on fire.

“I did what I had to do and that was it,” Coolidge said. “She’s a neighbor, but I didn’t even know her name.”

No one answered when he banged on the door. Through a window, Coolidge saw feet and realized the woman who lived there had collapsed by a backdoor. What happened next for Coolidge is still a haze. Scratches on his hands and broken glass by the door lead firefighters to believe he broke a window.

“I could see her feet,” he remembered. “I got down on my hands and feet and got her out that way. I could see her arms were burnt on her forearms.”

Once outside, other neighbors came to help. Firefighters hadn’t arrived yet. The group tended to the 64-year-old woman while Coolidge tried to catch his breath and take in clean air. Firefighters say a few minutes longer and the woman may not have made it.

“We have a true hero in our hands,” Ramsey Fire Chief Dean Kapler said. “It’s a pretty neat thing when someone stops and puts their life in danger to help out another human being.”

This is a day Coolidge won’t soon forget.

“I was going through my head, I was going to have some dreams about this tonight if she didn’t make it. After I saw she was a live and had her head up, I’ll sleep pretty good tonight,” said Coolidge.

Investigators say they don’t know what sparked the fire in the woman’s living room. She was also the only one in the house at the time. For now, her name isn’t being released to the media.

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