Volunteer Firefighter Saves Man's Life on Christmas Eve

Concord, VA - A Concord Volunteer Firefighter is being hailed a hero after rescuing his neighbor from a burning home on Christmas Eve.

Clinging to a garden hose, John Graves realized he was no match for the flames as they were consuming the back bedroom of his family's trailer.

"[I was] terrified. Scared," Graves said.

Matt Millner, a volunteer Concord Firefighter and full time Lynchburg Firefighter was getting ready to take his kids to his mother's house on Christmas Eve when his pager went off.

There was a structure fire a few doors down on Memory Lane.

"The room was heavily involved. I would say a few minutes at the most from becoming fully involved and the residence would have likely burned down very quickly," Millner said.

Millner ran into the burning home to pull Graves to safety, then grabbed a fire extinguisher he keeps in his truck, saving the family's home as well.

"Am I a hero? No. I'm just doing what I'm trained to do and doing what I love to do. I guarantee you, any volunteer fireman would have done the exact same thing," Millner said.

Graves spent three days at UVA's burn center for smoke inhalation and still has a long road to recovery.He considers himself lucky, though.

"Thank you Matt for saving my life. You're the hero," Graves said.

"I would hope that someone would be willing to go above and beyond to save my family if placed in a time of need," Millner said.

Fortunately the Graves' have insurance to cover the cost of the damage.

The cause of the fire is believed to have been electrical.

Graves was planning on reaching out to Millner sometime Friday to thank him for saving his life.

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