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Bystander rescues 90-year-old, as fire damages home in Branford

BRANFORD  -- A hero emerged from a house fire in Branford Tuesday morning.

The response to this fire, which broke out 67 Cedar Street, was a perfect example of timing is everything.

Branford 911 received a call at 9:59 a.m. stating there was possibly occupants trapped inside this residence.

"Upon arrival, we had a heavy fire in the rear of the building," said Branford Dep. Fire Chief. Tim Judd.

"I was driving home to take a lunch break," said Branford resident Tim Thaller, whose eyes caught something unexpected driving down Rose Street.

"As I drove past the post office, I saw smoke coming out of the back of the house and the first instinct is to pull over," he said.

He immediately asked a gentleman on site if anybody was still in the home.

"They told me that there was still a 90-year-old man in the front of the house," Thaller said. "So, naturally, I jumped out and I kicked down the door and pulled him out of the house."

Another man, who lives in the back of the house, where the fire started, had already gotten out on his own. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of this fire.

As for the elderly gentleman?

"He was actually rather upset because I was kicking down his door and he was unaware that the house was on fire," Thaller said.

Thaller, who fittingly works for a fire protection business, said he never once hesitated to jump into action.

"I am a Marine Corps veteran. I don’t think twice about these things."

No word yet as to the cause. Officials said two or three of the rooms, at the back of the house, caught fire.

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