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Off duty Providence firefighter describes rescuing family from burning home

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By: Alexandra Cowley

An off duty veteran firefighter from Providence ran to help the victims on the third floor of a Pawtucket home and a morning explosion. 42-year-old Jermaine Woods was at his dad's place across the street when he heard the explosion. Without thinking twice, he reacted.

22-year-veteran firefighter Jermaine Woods witnessed a fiery scene on his day off. He was across the street from the triple decker when he felt the explosion Tuesday morning.

Woods said, "I seen the building open up like that, I saw the three residents upstairs."

Woods, still shaken up from Tuesday's events, agreed to speak to ABC 6 news over the phone. From the street, Woods says he looked up, the explosion ripped off the roof, so he could clearly see the people there on the third floor.

"They literally were right there, and they weren't exiting the building on their own, they were probably still in shock or whatever," explained Woods.

So, Woods did what he's done for the past 2 decades. He ran to the burning building. The first floor tenant let him in and the two of them ran to the top. The first floor tenant took the man downstairs, Woods says he was burned pretty badly.

The woman holding her baby was in shock, looking for some clothes to put on.

"The lady grabbed the baby and she's running around the apartment naked looking for something to wear, I ripped off my sweatshirt and put it around her head and over her baby," he said.

Woods got them out safely and proceeded to clear people away from the still burning building.

When we asked Woods what he thought about being called a hero, he said he's far from it.

"Other people would have done what I done, but I'm glad I was there and I'm glad I could help and I'd do it again in a heartbeat," said Woods.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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