BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than nine months after running into a burning home in Baltimore to save his neighbor, Pierre Gibbons returned home Monday to continue his recovery.

Gibbons told WJZ it was instinct that led him to run into the home on North Rose Street on September 23, 2019, to save the elderly woman who lived there. She later died and he suffered life-threatening injuries.

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The fire damaged four homes in the neighborhood near Patterson Park and left Gibbons with burns on 80 percent of his body. At the time, doctors gave him a ten percent chance of survival.


Gibbons returned home Monday to a hero’s welcome, with a banner reading “Welcome Home Hero!” hanging above the street and a line of fire trucks and vehicles waiting to celebrate. Among those gathered were the firefighters that pulled him out of the two-alarm blaze and his friend Dan Sharpe, who Gibbons was spending time with the night of the fire.

“It was hard. I didn’t think he was going to make it,” Sharpe said. “I mean, I thought for sure he wasn’t coming out alive.”

Gibbons also saw for the first time in-person the renovations that were done on his home. Contractors worked around-the-clock to make sure he was able to return home once he was discharged.

Due to his injuries, he needed wheelchair access to his rowhome.

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Video shows Pierre Gibbons running into his neighbor’s burning home to save her.

“It’s going to be good for him to have a nice place to stay after he gets out of the hospital,” said Mario Pap with M&M Construction, the company that worked on his home.

Without their quick work, Gibbons may have had to spend even longer in the hospital.

“They weren’t going to let me leave the hospital if I didn’t have the proper facilities to be able to come home, and these guys all make it happen,” he said.

While he’s able to return home, his journey isn’t over. Gibbons’ family said he will still need round-the-clock care for several months, after which he will be evaluated and his level of care could change.

He’ll continue to recover at home in the shadow of the still-damaged home where his life forever changed.

Still, it’s a far cry from the five to six years he said doctors initially told him he may be in rehab.

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“My goal is to be walking on my own within… three months and do it within a year,” he said.

Rachael Cardin