Ogdensburg Man Hailed As Hero After Rescuing Family From Fire

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A retired Ogdensburg fire captain is being hailed as a hero after rescuing a woman and her two children from their burning home.

The woman, Brandy Middlemiss, says she will have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Despite losing her 312 Albany Avenue home to an early morning fire, she and her two children, ages five and two, are alive thanks to the heroic efforts of their neighbor, Jefferson Thornton.

"I don't think that we would have made it out without him coming to help us," said Middlemiss.
 
Thornton, a retired city fire captain who had just returned from Afghanistan last week where he now works as a private firefighter, had just gotten up and was on his porch a few houses down when he saw flames and jumped into action.
 
He alerted the sleeping family and helped Middlemiss and her children escape.

Middlemiss says she doesn't want to think about what might have happened had Thornton not come to the family's rescue.
 
The fire, believed to be electrical in origin, extensively damaged the home and was so hot it melted vinyl siding on the adjacent garage.

Assistant Fire Chief Michael Farrell said the outcome could have been a lot worse.

"He would be considered a hero," said Farrell.
 
A family member told us that after Jefferson Thornton's heroic rescue of his neighbors, he decided to spend the rest of the day in the woods hunting.

Thursday, September 18, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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