Jim Cunningham went to Boston to cheer on his wife, but he ended up in the middle of a nightmare.
"It was chaos. I don't know how else to describe it. There were a lot of people running around. A lot of people on the ground. A lot of smoke," he said.
Cunningham, a 28-year fire-rescue veteran, thought that when the first bomb exploded, it might be a blown transformer or generator.
But then the second bomb exploded, just yards away from him and his 13-year-old daughter.
"As soon as the smoke cleared and people stopped running, I saw people laying in the street. I threw my daughter my cell phone and said don't move," Cunningham says.
He left her inside the Lennox Hotel and rushed back out into the street.
"It was pretty graphic as far as the injuries goes. There was a lot of blast injuries, amputations and that kind of thing. I was telling civilians press here, don't stop until somebody tells you," he recalled.
Cunningham says he stayed there until paramedics arrived. Meanwhile, his wife was stopped somewhere along the race.
It took him and his daughter a long and very anxious hour and a half to find her.
"She was at mile 25 and a half out of a 26.2 race. So, we were both very lucky. If she would've been running a little bit faster, she would've been right there. My wife has a hearing deficit, so she always runs on the left side of the street and that's where the blasts were," Cunningham said.
He's just glad he was able to help.
"I can't say I'm glad I was there. We're all put in a place at a certain time for a reason," Cunningham said.
Most of us would call him a hero, but he says he doesn't consider himself one.
Like all firefighters and first responders, Cunningham says he's just the kind of guy who runs in, instead of running out.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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