Terry Bagley just happened to be walking by when the house exploded shortly after 2 p.m. Perhaps it was his marine training or maybe it was his kind heart that prompted him to jump into action.
Baltimore firefighters pulled him from the rubble after he risked his own life to save a teenager and a woman from the burning building.
Baltimore fire officials provided an update Wednesday afternoon, saying a 16-year-old girl and a 48-year-old woman who were in the house that exploded are in stable condition, and Bagley is in critical condition.
He is a married father of five who works housekeeping at the Veterans Affairs hospital. His children, daughter Eris Bagley and son Terry Bagley Jr., told sister station WBAL they are proud but also worried about their father, who’s in a medically induced coma at Shock Trauma.
“My father has suffered a broken pelvis, a broken femur. He’s going in for surgery and a broken hand,” Eris Bagley said. “He thought nothing about his own life to save two women that he did not know.”
The family said doctors want to perform surgery on one of his injuries but are waiting for a heart specialist’s opinion first.
“It was a brave thing for him to do, especially at his age being 70 years old,” Terry Bagley Jr. said. “When I see him looking, sometimes, lifeless, it scares me because I don’t know if he hears me when I’m talking, and I see some action with his fingers moving and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I’m still scared because anything could go wrong.”
According to family, Terry Bagley was on his way to a market to buy items for the Thanksgiving meal when he came across the emergency and jumped into action.
When asked why she thought her father did that, Eris Bagley told WBAL: “Because he’s a Marine.”
“My dad endured polio as a child. He also endured the thing with Camp Lejeune with toxic water and he also served in the Vietnam War,” she said. “(He was) heroic, but I wish he didn’t do it because now I’m scared that I am about to lose him. But I’m glad he did it to save people he didn’t know.”
Neighbors had been complaining of a strong odor of natural gas days prior to the explosion. According to Baltimore Gas and Electric and fire officials, the cause of the explosion remains under investigation.
BGE also said they will continue to canvass the area to ensure the safe and reliable operation of our gas infrastructure.
Video below: WBAL surveys the damage in Pigtown
The blast destroyed one home and damaged several others. BGE has since turned gas and electric service back on to other homes on the block.
Meanwhile, the Bagley family is holding vigil at the hospital.
“I’m praying. I’m praying to God, and I’m asking him to protect him and I’m asking God to spare his life,” Terry Bagley Jr. said.