Neighbor, friends rescue elderly man from Raleigh fire

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Friend, neighbor save elderly man from fire.

A man is recovering after being pulled out of a burning apartment building by a neighbor and friends.

Perscues Dunston lives across the Bashford Road apartment building and saw smoke flowing out of it when he was getting home from work Tuesday.

There are four units in the building and Dunston said he knocked on all the doors, telling people to get out and call 911. That's when he said his friend Martin Carter didn't come out.

Dunston said he couldn't bear to wait for the fire department when he realized his friend could possibly be stuck in there, because Mr. Martin (as he calls him) is at least in his 80s.

"I called his name. He was unresponsive; he didn't say nothing," Dunston said. "There was a lot of smoke coming out we couldn't really see in.

"I see his friend that I know comes over here and visit him, he pulled up," Dunston added. "I said 'Mr. Martin's in there 'cause I know he's in there. I didn't see nobody leave the house,' so he came over and yelled his name. He responded. We ducked down as far as we can go, we went in there, we grabbed him out, and there it is."

The Raleigh fire department said Carter was found on the floor of the kitchen.

Investigators said the fire started in Carter's bathroom from an improperly tossed smoking material, most likely a cigarette.

Dunston said it was incredibly hot inside the house and that he couldn't see a thing with all of the smoke, but he kept thinking "I've got to get him out.

"Everybody was telling me I was in there for a little while. I didn't know I was in there for that long. I just wanted to make sure I got him and pulled him out."

Carter is recovering at the UNC Burn Center. His condition is unknown. Dunston said Carter is surrounded by family.

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