by Alicia Neaves
MIDLAND - If it wasn't for the courageous act by one Midland man, his neighbor might not be alive today.
Back on September 26, a fire engulfed part of the Ranchland Apartments in Midland. Thomas Brown was there when it happened and helped pull an unconscious woman out of her apartment, saving her life. Brown's apartment also suffered damage.
Thomas tells NewsWest 9, he even went back inside his apartment during the fire to try and retrieve some clothes.
After getting word of Brown's generous act, a group of residents gathered money and belongings as a thank you to Thomas.
"He gave up everything he had and he lost everything. Everybody just poured back into him and gave him ten times what he needed. He ended up giving stuff away because he had so much stuff!" John Murphy, who helped Thomas build his new furniture, said.
"It made me feel like I was someone special. I had done a real, real famous deed. But like I told you before, I don't look at myself as a hero and stuff," Brown said.
It turns out, Thomas and Mr. Murphy were long-time friends.
"After things happened, I heard that I was gonna get donations and stuff but I had no idea it was gonna be Mr. Murphy here," Brown said.
"They started donating pots and pans, everything from clothes to furniture and everything for Tom," Murphy said.
If you walked in Thomas's apartment now, it's completely transformed with a new TV, a bed and a couch. Thomas even has a new cell phone.
"If you're down and out, I think the best thing for you is to go bless other people and you'll be blessed," Murphy said.
Shortly after the fire, Thomas also received the "Life Saving Award" from the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Angels are watching over Tom, guarding him. I bet they're having heart attacks when he's going in [the apartment] for the second time," Murphy said.
"Cause I know I was!" Brown replied.
When asked the big question, would you do this all over again? Just like his heroic act of generosity towards his neighbor, Thomas's response came without hesitation.
"When I had done it, I didn't even give it a second thought, really. Yeah, I would do it again," Brown said.