Volunteer firefighter hailed a hero following May fire

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LAVALLETTE -

A volunteer firefighter is being honored as a hero for risking his life twice in the face of a May fire.

Seaside Heights firefighter Patrick Duffy not only rescued tenants from his own apartment complex during a fire, he also then returned to the scene to fight the same fire on May 25.

Duffy and his fiancée Ashley Stanfield were trapped in the building when the fire broke out, so he threw bed sheets together to allow her to climb out of their second-floor window.

Then, after a neighbor grabbed a ladder to help them down, Duffy climbed back up to wake up their neighbor.

After the man jumped to safety from a balcony, Duffy flagged down a passing driver, grabbed his firefighting gear at the Seaside Heights firehouse and returned to fight the fire he just escaped.

The close call was only part of an eventful day ­– Stanfield graduated from Ocean County College just hours later, though her cap was lost in the fire.

Duffy owes his and Stanfield’s safety to pre-establishing an escape plan in case of a fire.

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