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Joe Andruzzi: I'm no hero for help at Boston Marathon

Joe Andruzzi found himself back in the news Monday after a photo of the former New England Patriots guard carrying a woman away from the Boston Marathon blast area was widely circulated on the internet.

Andruzzi's three brothers were first responders during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. His connection to another American tragedy is surreal, but he dismissed the notion that he committed a heroic act.

"I am definitely not a hero," Andruzzi told The Boston Globe, the publication that published the photo. "I am just a bystander, and that led to my help. Many heroes that I look upon are people like my three brothers that are running into burning buildings when others are running out.

"Explosions are going off and they are driving their cars down Boylston (Street) right into the heart of the scene. They are the people that don't care about their safety and are worried for other people's safety and survival."

The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was hosting a fundraising watch party at Forum restaurant on Boylston Street when the second explosion occurred right in front of the establishment. Andruzzi was behind the finish line during the explosions, and he raced back to the restaurant, where he came upon the injured woman in the photo.

"I turned and saw three young women carrying somebody on their back," he said. "I ran over, and that's the picture you saw. I told them, 'Let me help.' Scooped her up, and I remember them yelling at the cameraman, 'Stop taking pictures of my mom.' I know we were down by Newbury (Street), and walked her down the block and to an ambulance."

No one from Andruzzi's foundation was seriously injured by the blast.

"A few went to the hospital with concussions and lacerations and things like that, but nothing severe," Andruzzi said. "We were very lucky."

Andruzzi is humble, but it was selfless actions like his that serve as a silver lining on a very dark day.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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