Alabama Man Hailed a Hero for Rescuing 33 Firearms from House Fire

RAINSVILLE, Al. – An Alabama man is being hailed a hero after witnesses say he single-handedly rescued nearly three-dozen firearms from a devastating house fire in the city of Rainsville, located three hours north of Montgomery, last weekend.

Authorities say Jacob Gentry, a twenty-nine year-old former cashier at Dollar General, risked life and limb when he ran back and forth into the blazing inferno, each time emerging miraculously unscathed with an armload of pistols, rifles, and shotguns. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Maybel Jefferies, who lives two houses down from the site of Sunday’s two-alarm fire, told WHNT News 19, a local CBS affiliate. “People talk about heroism, but to see it with your own eyes – there are just no words.”

The collection of liberated firearms –consisting of several pump and break-action shotguns; thirteen AR-15-style sporting rifles; a plethora of handguns ranging from single-action revolvers to a Cobray M-11 select-fire pistol; and even an antique Pattern 1853 musket dating back to the War of Northern Aggression– hold a combined value of nearly $120,000. “The state of Alabama owes a great debt to Jacob Gentry,” Governor Kay Ivey said during a surprise visit to Rainsville City Hall on Monday. “His selflessness and sacrifice in the face of certain death serves as a reminder of every American’s patriotic duty to preserve and protect our most sacred freedoms,” declared Governor Ivey.

National Rifle Association Regional Director Albert Hammond also praised Mr. Gentry, calling his actions a “major victory for the Second Amendment.” In a statement released Monday morning, Hammond said the NRA plans to present Mr. Gentry with a lifetime induction into its Golden Ring of Freedom program, and a limited edition AR-15 rifle made from melted-down aircraft aluminium recovered from the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks.

For his part, Jacob Gentry, a longtime friend of the homeowner, told WHNT News 19 that he doesn’t consider himself a hero. “I was just doing what anyone would have done,” the twenty-nine year-old Alabama native said. Investigators believe the inferno, which reduced the two-story single-family home to a pile of smoldering ash in a matter of hours, was likely caused by an improperly discarded cigarette. Three children, aged 4, 9, and 11, perished in the blaze.

R. Hobbus J.D.

Investigative Journalist

R. Hobbus J.D. is an internationally acclaimed independent investigative journalist specializing in international politics, health, business, science, conflict resolution, history, geography, mathematics, social issues, feminism, space travel, civil rights, human rights... more

  1. It is most unfortunate that the three young children perished in the fire but bad things happen in life. The hero in this matter said that a large crowd gathered to watch the blaze and in fact cheered him each time he was able to stagger from the home with a bundle of firearms. It was not till every firearm was recovered that he was told there were also three children trapped in there and he wanted to do something to help them but had to finish labelling the firearms first. By the time that task had been completed the home had burnt to the ground. He felt very sorry for the children and hopes some to the money from the sale of the firearms can be used to erect a memorial for them.

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