CLINTON, Okla. (KFOR) – A heroic act left one man in a hospital burn unit this week.

Derick Thompson’s home in Clinton caught fire while he and his girlfriend were sleeping. When the 43-year-old woke up, he knew he had to get them both out, so he braved the flames to do just that.

Derick Thompson
Derick Thompson. Image courtesy Carrie Spires.

“It’s very hard to see. It’s very hard to look at,” said Carrie Spires, the sister of Derick Thompson.

For Spires, seeing her brother, Derick, in as much pain as he’s been in over the past week hasn’t been easy.

“You love somebody, but to see that they’re in that much pain and to see it was pretty traumatic, especially for him,” she said. “But for a loved one to see that as well.”

The story behind his pain though saved a life.

It was early Saturday morning when Derick woke up to find his duplex in Clinton fully engulfed in flames.

“He woke up his girlfriend. She couldn’t see,” Spires said.

Knowing he had to get them both out quickly, Derick jumped into action.

“He put a blanket over her head, covered her, picked her up and had to go through the house, through the fire,” Spires said. “He didn’t think he was going to make it right. He said that when he got to the front door, he just threw her out and then fell out himself.”

Despite being badly burned, he went next door to wake up his neighbors and get them out as well.

From there, it was straight to the burn unit at Integris Baptist Medical Center where doctors told Derick’s family he had second and third degree burns on his back, face, right arm and right hand.

“So, it’s very painful,” Spires said.

Adding to the pain, the couple’s duplex is destroyed.

Spires said her brother will likely spend another 30 to 40 days in the hospital.

“He did say that even though he did this, he would do it again,” Spires said. “He doesn’t regret doing it at all.”

Now, the family turning to the support and recovery of their hero as the number one priority.

“So, I’ve been very appreciative for everyone, all the prayers and for everybody reaching out,” Spires said.

Spires mentioned this as a reminder to check your smoke detectors as they can save your life.

If you’d like to help Derick and his family, there is a GoFundMe.