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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A fire spread through several homes in the Crestwood Estates neighborhood of New Hanover County this afternoon.

No one was hurt, all thanks to a quick thinking neighbor who saved the day.

When our crew arrived, smoke and flames were billowing from the homes, making it hard to breathe, let alone see. But one man braved the fire to get a disabled elderly woman to safety.

“He had heard an explosion, and the first thing he did was get my mom out, and I’m thankful,” Darrin Leazer, whose home was one of the three burned, said.

Leazer says he was on the way home when he got the call that his mother’s garage was on fire and spreading to nearby homes.

Leazer’s sister, Melissa Phillippi says she was driving on College Rd. when she saw the commotion.

“I could see the smoke billowing, and the pit of my stomach dropped out,” Phillippi said.

She says if it was not for a neighbor, her mother may not have made it out in time.

“The neighbor, the hero went in and got my mother who is home-bound out of the house in time, and no one was home in this other house as well, so we’re grateful,” she said.

The only person hurt was a firefighter. A New Hanover County spokesman says a firefighter was hit by an electrical wire and taken to the hospital for observation. He says the firefighter is looking well and should be released soon.

Meanwhile Leazer says his main concern now is to find his mother’s missing cat.

“They were already outside but of course when the explosion happened, they took off,” he explained. “They have found one. The other one probably won’t come back until everything is quiet.”

One home plus Leazer’s garage were both badly damaged. Firefighters say the blaze also slightly damaged another home.

Investigators stayed on the scene, but there no word yet on what started the blaze.

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