Images from dramatic Van Buren fireExtended Interviews: Rescued woman
| Man who rescued neighbor
Van Buren, NY - (WSYR-TV) - An elderly woman was rescued by her neighbor from her burning home along Baker Blvd. in the Town of Van Buren on Friday morning.
The fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. David Koegel said he heard screams coming from the home next door, went outside, saw the flames and dove through the window to guide his 79-year-old neighbor, Kay Oldenburg, out of the home.
Oldenburg, who shares the home with her granddaughter, Samantha, was unaware that a fire had started until someone began "yelling and screaming" outside of her house.
Oldenburg said she's grateful for Koegel's help.
"I could have still been in there sleeping," she said.
Koegel was also alerted to the fire by other people. When he saw the home in flames, he climbed in through a window and found Oldenburg in the living room. He said smoke had overwhelmed the home's interior.
"It was very, very smoky," he said.
Nevertheless, Koegel downplayed his own role in rescuing Oldenburg.
"I didn't risk my life, I knew what I was capable of doing and the house wasn't that much on fire yet," he said. "God knows why I did it, but I did it and it worked."
The fire badly damaged the home. The cause is under investigation.