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Disabled Veteran Dies Saving Others During Apt. Fire

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Six lives were lost in a downtown Las Vegas apartment fire, but that figure could have been much worse were it not for a brave veteran who sacrificed his life saving others.

Don Bennett, 63, a disabled Marine veteran, ran through smoke- and fire-filled hallways, banging on doors to wake others.

He, along with five others, died during the predawn, pre-Christmas blaze.

“There are heroes among us,” his brother Charles Bennett told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Bennett worked as a maintenance employee at the Alpine Motel Apartments. Residents described Bennett as a hero, saving many who would have died while sleeping.

“Don knocked on everyone’s door and said, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’” Anthony Meadows, Jr. told the Review-Journal. He’s certain that he would have died were it not for Bennett.

Another resident, Floyd Guenther, joined Bennett in trying to wake others.

Guenther helped Bennett pull babies and adults out the front door – then the fire got too intense, according to the Review-Journal. Bennett was also seen catching babies from windows, and struggling to open locked doors.

Building co-owner Malinda Mier began crying when talking about Bennett’s heroic deeds.

“Don has a military background,” she told the Review-Journal. “He’s a veteran. Very nice man. Always helpful.”

Bennett joined the Marine Corps following high school, according to the Review-Journal. He was a friendly, people-loving father of three.

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