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Massachusetts college students help save family from fire during Super Bowl trip to Philadelphia

<i></i><br/>Massachusetts college students
Lawrence, Nakia

Massachusetts college students

By Mary Saladna

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    PAXTON, Massachusetts (WCVB) — A group of college students in Massachusetts, who traveled to Philadelphia during Super Bowl weekend, are being hailed as heroes after they helped save multiple lives.

Elijah Rapaport, Jarrett “Eggo” Niland, Joshua Alexander and Cameron Powell have formed a deep friendship while attending Anna Maria College in Paxton. Alexander, Powell and Rapaport are teammates on the Anna Maria club ice hockey team, while Niland videotapes their games.

Over the weekend, the four friends decided to take a road trip to Philadelphia to cheer on the Eagles during the Super Bowl, take in the sights and eat some cheesesteaks.

“I think it was just going to be Josh and Cam at the beginning, but then the day of, we managed to convince Eggo’s mom to let him come down,” Rapaport said.

“She knew I really wanted to go. She was like: ‘Alright, you can go with the boys as long as you’re safe,'” Niland said.

“They call it the city of Brotherly Love and that’s all we experienced the entire time,” Alexander said. “Everyone was so nice.”

By about 4 a.m. Monday, this group of friends would end up paying that love forward with an early-morning rescue mission when the house across the street from where they were staying in Chester had caught fire.

“We shot out of the house and then I look up, and I just saw flames — redness,” Niland said.

The Anna Maria students and the friends they were staying with called 911 and started yelling and banging on the neighbors’ doors to alert them to the fire.

“They woke up to our knocking,” Powell said. “They were doing very well for the condition of their house.”

Thanks to their help, the residents of the home were able to escape the fire safely.

“Thank you, guys. I swear, if it wasn’t for y’all,” Charmaine Burrell, who lives in the unit attached to the one that caught fire, told Niland shortly after she escaped the fire.

“As long as you guys are safe, that’s all that matters,” Niland replied.

“My family was in there asleep,” Burrell added.

“It’s definitely a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Alexander said Wednesday.

“It gives you a sense of, you know, we’re all in it together. We all care about each other,” Rapaport said.

The Anna Maria Amcats club hockey team is currently ranked No. 1 in their division and will be heading to the national championships next month, as long as they can raise the money for the trip. The four friends have a good feeling about raising the funds they need because this year’s national club tournament is in Philadelphia.

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