‘There Are Still True Heroes’: Parents Thank State Trooper For Saving Son From Burning Home

MIDDLEBORO (CBS) – A state trooper is being applauded for saving a man from his burning rooming house — just a stone’s throw from the Middleboro state patrol barracks.

“There are still true heroes,” says Lynn Cronin, standing in a hallway at Rhode Island Hospital, where her son is in the ICU.

In between visits to her son’s bedside today, she stopped by the barracks to throw her arms around trooper John Hagerty.

“It was nice to thank him,” she says, “and to give him a hug. He was very humble — like he does it every day.”

Firefighters respond as flames rip through a Middleboro home. (Image Credit: Lakeville Fire Department)

The hug was for the events that unfolded just after one o’clock this morning, when Hagerty spotted flames shooting from a rooming house on West Grove Street in Middleboro.

When he jumped from his cruiser, the trooper was told of a single resident still trapped on the top floor.

So, he scrambled around to the back — and as luck would have it — found a ladder lying in the grass.

“He scours the ground in the dark to find a way to rescue my boy,” says the victim’s father, Robert Sullivan, as his voice crackles with emotion. “I’m getting all choked up. That’s the kind of cop you want driving around your neighborhood at night. That’s pretty good.”

By the time the trooper climbed to the window, 33-year-old Patrick Sullivan had partially opened it– but was only semi-conscious from smoke inhalation and serious burns.

“I don’t think he my son knows yet exactly what happened,” says Lynn Cronin.

Patrick Sullivan was rescued from a burning house in Middleboro (WBZ-TV)

What happened — was that Trooper Hagerty plucked her son from the burning house and dragged him down the ladder.

The humble trooper declined our request for an interview.

“He put his own life in danger to save somebody else,” says Cronin. “You don’t find a lot of that.”

The fire — apparently started by an unattended candle on the first floor — left 13 people without a place to stay — and put Patrick Sullivan in intensive care.

His mom hopes he’ll get off the ventilator tomorrow — and be out in a few days.

But she doubts she’ll even know how to truly thank the trooper who saved him.

“That’s why I just hugged him,” she says. “There are no words to thank somebody enough for saving your child’s life.”