By Jessica Dean

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As heavy flames ravaged a West Chester senior living community on Thursday night neighbors didn’t think twice before jumping in to help.

Tonight we give three cheers to two of those neighbors who dropped everything to save lives.

When the smoke finally began to clear, we heard the stories of everyday people who went to extraordinary lengths to help their neighbors.

“The actions of not only the emergency responders but also the citizens of the surrounding area, they were absolutely heroic,” said Bobby Kagel, Chester County Director of Emergency Services.

Real life heroes always share one trait: they put others’ safety and well-being before their own and they make that choice in an instant.

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Larry Kingsland was no different.

“My first instinct was to run down the street because I know people who live there,” he said.

Dina Ciccarone’s instincts kicked in too.

“It was scary but you don’t think at any point,” she said. “The most important thing was just to get them to safety.”

When he got to the burning building, Kingsland wasted no time.

“I just went in. Myself and others people were just going into the building and getting people out,” he said.

Ciccarone was outside getting the seniors away from the fire.

“They were all in wheelchairs. So none of them could lift their legs, so just getting them blankets and walking them up the hill to safety,” said Ciccarone.

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It’s easy to drive home, shut the garage door and forget about your neighbors, to forget you’re part of a community. But on Thursday night, this community showed us all the power of showing up and caring for those around you.

“We know the residents. These are our neighbors. They’re the best neighbors,” said Ciccarone.

You could say the same thing about people like Dina Ciccarone and Larry Kingsland.

They’re some of the best neighbors–leaping into action in a split second to help their friends down the street and for that we give them three cheers.

 

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