'He rescued himself': N.J. firefighter clarifies his off-duty response to fire at neighbor's house

Hamilton Township's Henry Roldan said a neighbor fled the home without help and that he made sure no one was left inside

UPDATE: (10:05 a.m. Aug. 24 CDT)

By Leila Merrill

MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Hamilton Firefighter Henry Roldan told the Burlington County Times that previous accounts of his actions in a house fire Sunday are inaccurate.

Roldan, 32, said he did not rescue his neighbor, Austin Lamoreaux.

“I didn’t rescue him; he rescued himself,” Roldan said. 

Roldan said he was mulching his front lawn when the fire started. He got a call from another neighbor and ran to the house.

He said that Lamoreaux was rushing out the front door.

Roldan screamed, asking whether anyone else was home. Lamoreaux had just woken up and did not know.

Roldan quickly looked around the house and kicked a door open to check inside.

Crews from multiple departments brought the fire under control.


MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — An off-duty volunteer firefighter rescued a neighbor from his burning house Sunday evening.

"(The firefighter) was able to come kick the door in and get the kid out because he was asleep upstairs. Glad he was able to do that for him," a neighbor told WPVI. 

The fire started just after 6:30 p.m., the off-duty firefighter sprang into action, and the fire department arrived in minutes.

The resident was not injured.

Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters identified the firefighter as Henry Roldan.

Roldan told TAPinto, “I’m no hero.” 

“Henry showed that first responders are never really off duty,” said Dave Krueger and Nick Buroczi, presidents of Hamilton FMBA Locals 84 and 284. “Like most firefighters, Henry will probably downplay this and tell anyone that asks that he ‘did what anyone would do.’”

“The reality is that not anyone would have done what Henry did. What Henry did was put his life at risk for someone else. He is a hero, and we are proud of him.”


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