He Saved Them From Tragedy in 1971. Now, a Thank You

Family meets man who pulled baby from burning house nearly 50 years ago
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2018 2:59 PM CST
He Saved Them From Tragedy in 1971. Now a Thank You
Stock image   (Getty Images/blackestockphoto)

It took nearly 50 years, but a California family was finally able to thank the mysterious man who saved them from an unimaginable tragedy one night in 1971. The Fresno Bee reports 24-year-old Rick Freund was driving home when he saw a women and three young girls standing outside a burning house and stopped. The woman was yelling about her baby. When Freund asked where her baby was, she pointed to a room in the house. Freund climbed through the window, pulled the baby from its crib in the smoke-filled room, and got safely back outside. Minutes later, the ceiling collapsed. By that time, Freund had left the scene without even telling the family his name. "Heroes don’t want to be thanked," the baby's mother, Carol Magee, wrote in a letter published in the Bee following the fire. She died in 2003.

Recently, one of Magee's daughters, Cyndee Farr-Gutierrez, decided to try to find the man who saved her brother all those years ago, and enlisted help from the Bee. That led her to Freund, a former military police officer and current owner of a trucking business. She and her sisters met Freund last month. “When someone does something like that,” she says, “I don’t know if they know how much it means to somebody else and the lives they change by a simple act." Freund also met the baby he saved. Robert Magee—now a 47-year-old father of three—has spent the past 18 years paying Freund's act of kindness forward, organizing an annual blood drive that has collected over 18,000 units of blood. Magee says he and Freund plan to stay in contact. Read the full story here. (In more uplifting news, a Texas dad's bakery was saved by a single tweet.)

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