'Not One Person Came to Help,' Until Man Saved Landscaper From Burning Tool Trailer - NBC Chicago

'Not One Person Came to Help,' Until Man Saved Landscaper From Burning Tool Trailer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Man Saved Landscaper From Burning Tool Trailer

    Her father watched as most of the tools of his 49 year old landscaping business went up in flames two weeks ago. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Thursday, May 17, 2018)

    Her father watched as most of the tools of his 49 year old landscaping business went up in flames two weeks ago.

    "It was like all of the sudden this angel out of nowhere came to help him," Trinidad Aguilar-Ruiz said.

    He tried to go back in and salvage his equipment.

    Watching him was a complete stranger who just happened to be driving at 31st Street and Western Avenue.

    "Mr. Aguliar comes out like this with half of his body on fire," said Efrain Martinez, the principal at Orozco Academy. "Oh my God, what do I do?"

    What Martinez did was what several bystanders did not do.

    "There were four people recording this," Martinez recalled. "Not one person came to help."

    He jumped out of his car to help the Pilsen business owner.

    "He had some kind of jacket that was with a little bit of fire," Martinez recalled. "I started to hit him with that with my hands. He was also doing it to extinguish the fire."

    Aguilar-Ruiz said she thinks what Martinez did was "above and beyond."

    "He told us that day that we're family now," she remembered. "That's exactly how we felt."

    Jorge Aguilar was in his hospital bed recovering Thursday from skin graft surgery to both of his legs.

    "He's very thankful," his daughter said.

    Martinez said Aguilar could have escaped with less severe injuries if others had helped.

    Feeling his actions weren't enough, Martinez also created a GoFundMe to help Aguilar and his family.

    "We are in his debt, we really are," Aguilar-Ruiz said.

    Jorge Aguilar could be out as early as Friday, but has a long road to recovery, family says.

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