Skip to main content

'Hero' saves man from fiery home just before explosion

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A Cambridge man is being called a hero after saving another man from his burning home just before oxygen tanks inside started exploding, KARE 11 reports.

The fire broke out in a mobile home in the 2200 block of Red Pine Drive South in Cambridge shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday. A man visiting in the neighborhood, Tom Simon, went inside the burning house and dragged the occupant outside just a few moments before the oxygen tanks inside began exploding and shooting through the roof and the side of the home, according to KARE 11.

Cambridge Fire Department spokesman Corey Bustrom calls Simon a lifesaver and a hero for rescuing the resident of the mobile home, 86-year-old Phillip Virkus.

Bustrom said Simon found Virkus inside the front doorway, grabbed him and pulled him outside the burning building, the Star Tribune reports.

Bustrom said Virkus needs oxygen for health reasons. He speculates the fire started after one or more of the nine tanks inside the home caught fire.

Firefighters arrived shortly afterward and put out the fire, Bustrom said.

Virkus was taken by ambulance to Allina/Cambridge Medical Center, but his condition has not been released.

Cambridge Police Department, the Isanti County Sheriff's Department and Allina Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Next Up

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension - bca

Man with sword, officers who shot him in North Branch identified

The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the Friday incident.

Jeff Plush

MN-based USA Curling 'reviewing' report that CEO ignored abuse in NWSL

Jeff Plush is under fire for multiple allegations made by U.S. women soccer players.

Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse

7 Minnesota pumpkin patches to visit this fall

Plenty of patches to pick the best pumpkin

slushy snow

Sven Sundgaard responds to AccuWeather's winter forecast

Take anything beyond a couple weeks with a grain of salt, warns meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.


Rage Against the Machine cancels rest of tour, including MN shows

The cancellations include a 2023 stop at the Target Center.

Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.03.16 AM

Watch: Speeding drivers use Minneapolis bike lanes to overtake

Community members have called for better safety precautions in response.

Jamal Smith

Jamal Smith sentenced to life for Plymouth road rage killing

A guilty verdict was determined by a jury this summer.