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City of Goliad honors hero who saved neighbor from fire

By ErinPradia
Dec. 20, 2011 at 6:20 a.m.
Updated Dec. 21, 2011 at 6:21 a.m.

The Friedrichs family, from left, RaLeigh Jo, 9; John Friedrich; his wife, Nicole Friedrich; and Madlynn, 8, read the certificate of appreciation that John received from the City of Goliad on Tuesday for saving his neighbor, Jane Rodriguez when her house caught fire last week.

Every seat was filled in the Goliad City Hall meeting room on Tuesday when John Friedrichs was presented a Good Samaritan Award for saving his elderly neighbor from a fire.

"We are honored to have such a man in our community," said Goliad Mayor Jay Harvey. "Most people would be running away from a fire, but John ran into a house that was on fire to lead his neighbor to safety."

Jane Rodriguez, 83, who Friedrichs carried from her burning home was present to thank him for saving her life.

"I almost came to see you," Rodriguez quipped to council member and undertaker Buddy Zavesky, as she walked to the front to help present Friedrichs with the award.

Rodriguez who lived alone in her home in the 600 block of East Oak Street, was independent at 83 - mowing her own lawn and working part-time "taking care of the elderly" when they were sick.

"I am not one to make speeches," said Rodriguez before the award was presented. "But I just want to thank everybody for their help."

Friedrichs heard Rodriguez screaming from her burning home and ran in to rescue her on Dec. 13. He found Rodriguez in a smoke-filled kitchen near the table trying to salvage her belongings.

Friedrichs carried Rodriguez out the back door to safety just before the house became completely engulfed in flames.

As flames leapt out the windows toward Rodriguez's new car, Friedrichs towed it using his truck and chains.

The home, which was insured, was declared a loss, and there were no injuries.

Friedrichs' wife, Nicole Friedrichs, his daughters, 9-year-old RaLeigh Jo Friedrichs, and 8-year-old Madlynn Friedrichs, as well as his mother, Robbie, all attended the city council meeting to honor his acts of service.

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