SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Saving a life often involves quick thinking and quick reaction, and saving a life often means risking your own life. That was the case with Western Massachusetts Red Cross Hometown Hero Jeff Litchfield, who raced into a burning car to rescue the 87-year-old driver.
“All kinds of things going through your head. It took a long time to even catch your breath. After something like that,” said Litchfield.
Litchfield, an employee with Springfield’s Facilities Management Department, was passing by when he saw Walter Hora trapped in his burning car at a service station. “It was scary in the car, we were fumbling with the seatbelt, so by the time the flames started coming up again that was a little scary.”
Since the day Litchfield rescued Hora, the two have become good friends. Hora said, “I invited him for dinner; I said ‘C’mon, I got to do something for you.’ When he showed up, c’mon, it’s a blessing. I can get so much quicker out of there, I appreciate it very much. There were a lot of people there. Nobody showed up, he was the only one who showed up.”
Looking back on that day Litchfield saved Hora’s life, Litchfield doesn’t regard himself as a hero, climbing into the burning car to rescue Hora was something he had to do. “It’s just a crazy thing to happen. You know like you said, you really don’t have time to think.”
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno recognized Litchfield as a Good Samaritan. It was there that Jamie Litchfield, Jeff’s wife of 15 years helped salute her husband. “He has the character of someone who would do this, anything to help them, so it’s the character.”
For saving a life, Jeff Litchfield will be honored the morning of March 17th as a Western Massachusetts Red Cross Hometown Hero.
Other Hometown Heroes: