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Marine-turned-firefighter saves boy from house fire

A Marine veteran and off-duty turned firefighter is being hailed as a hero after running into a burning home to rescue a child was in the right place at the right time to rescue a boy from a burning house.

On Feb. 23, Rob McVoy was driving through while leaving work and headed through Peabody, Massachusetts, on Feb. 23 after leaving his shift at the nearby Melrose Fire Department. But he was quickly diverted when he noticed a house had caught fire. Rob McVoy saw a burning building.

"I was driving home and I looked across the highway and saw smoke coming from form the second floor window," McVoy said. "I looked down the street and nobody was there." McVoy said, a firefighter with the nearby Melrose, Massachusetts Fire Department, said

He called 911, made a U-turn and drove toward the house.

"I ran up and I started pounding on the door and I could hear someone in there," he said.

He found an open door, went in the home, and saw a middle school-aged boy inside.

"I got into the house and I told the teenager, 'Hey, we gotta go!'" McVoy recalled.

The boy grabbed the family dog and they all made it outside as 20-foot flames flew out of a second floor window. Everyone was safe, but the house had extensive damage and the family was displaced, he said.

But his work wasn't over. Eastern Massachusetts, like much of the Northeast, was covered in snow. McVoy said he started shoveling out fire hydrants so that Peabody firefighters could hook up hoses when they arrived.

While he went out of his way to rescue the boy from danger, he's not taking any credit for his efforts.

"I have extensive training and I knew what to look for," he said. "I was at the right place at the right time." he said.

A Marine turned firefighter was in the right place at the right time to rescue a boy from a burning house. On Feb. 23, while leaving work and headed through Peabody Massachusetts, Rob McVoy saw a burning building.
A Marine turned firefighter was in the right place at the right time to rescue a boy from a burning house. On Feb. 23, while leaving work and headed through Peabody Massachusetts, Rob McVoy saw a burning building.

Rob McVoy, a firefighter and Marine veteran, ran into a burning home in Massachusetts to rescue a boy inside. McVoy was not on duty at the time.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Robert McVoy Jr

McVoy was an aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist in the Marine Corps. He served from 2000 to 2004, got out as a sergeant, and joined the Melrose Fire Department in 2006. He was recalled to the military in 2007 for a deployment to Iraq where he served in was sergeant of the guard for his post at al Asad before getting he got out for good, he said. He was also stationed in Japan and deployed to Korea and Australia. "I've seen the world," he said. "I absolutely love the Marines."

Word of the off-duty rescue started circulating around the Melrose Police Department, said Ron Alley, a former military policeman in the National Guard.

"I was kind of curious about who it was," Alley said.

He dug around and discovered it was McVoy, his friend and former neighbor. The two veterans have also crossed paths on the job, Alley said.

"I was not surprised that it was him," Alley said. I have found him to be the perfect gentleman, I found him to be a professional. "He has great character and integrity." he said.

Alley credits McVoy's humble attitude and quick action to skills he picked up his service in the Marine Corps. seems to have roots in his time in the Corps, Alley, a former MP in the National Guard said.

Firefighters and police officers and firefighters can get worn down from the demands of the profession, Alley said, and some seem to switch off when they're not on duty. But McVoy doesn't seem to catch that type of burnout, he said.Again, Alley attributes that mindset to McVoy's time in the Corps.

"He has high character. He's not going to drive by a situation that he recognizes as bad," he said.

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