Army veteran neighbor runs to help after Akron plane crash

Akron Plane Crash from WCMH
(WCMH/Dillon Sipe)

AKRON, Ohio (WCMH) — Paul Rader didn’t know what he was in for Tuesday afternoon.

The former Army Specialist had the day off and was talking to a friend at The Park bar in Akron’s Ellet neighborhood when he felt a jolt.

“I look at Lisa the bartender like, ‘Did you feel that?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, did you? I heard something.’ And she’s like, ‘Dude, the telephone poles are swinging’” he says.

Rader saw the smoke and sprinted home to make sure no one was going to get hurt.

“Knocking on doors. ‘Get out, get out, get out.’ The fire was so hot.”

It happened just before 3 o’clock. A small business jet crashed into an apartment building. All nine people on the plane were killed.

No one was home in the building. Rader lives in the building next door. He says instincts took over and he just had to help.

“A cracking immense fire, and a few minutes later, the authorities start showing up,” he says.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating. The passengers on the plane worked for the PEBB Enterprises real-estate firm out of Boca Raton, Florida.

Rader is just thankful he and his neighbors weren’t home.

“You’re thankful, absolutely,” he said. “You’re just thankful. It’s a beautiful day. I get a chance.”

Rader and his neighbors were allowed in their homes to gather a few personal items Wednesday afternoon. But it will be days before they can move back in.

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