Video: Heroes emerge amid Boston bomb chaos

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    >>> finally tonight from boston , inevitably when something bad like this happens, terrific stories of heroism and kindness emerge. nbc's anne thompson whose roots are here has the story of this city today.

    >> reporter: if crisis reveals character, then call boston courageous. carlos arredondo , the man in the cowboy hat , is one of many who ran to help instead of running away.

    >> i was carrying someone who lost both of their legs.

    >> reporter: in the midst of his horror, he remembers hi lowest point, when he learned his son had been killed in iraq. grief stricken, he set himself on fire and was rescued. he recalled his wife's words of comfort as he calmed jeff baumann jr. he lost his lower legs but survived.

    >> i spared myself and give comfort and give him hope and get him out of there as soon as we could.

    >> reporter: you can call boston kind. peter deandrade lives two blocks from where the bombs went off. leftovers from his pre-race parties were post-race sustenance to confused runners.

    >> we carried everything out on platters and started feeding people and brought out coffee. the little things we could do, my friends and i, to help people out in this tragedy.

    >> reporter: boston at times has been divided by class, ethnicity and race, but it's always come together on marathon day, never more than in 2013 when nearly 6,000 people offer eed their homes online to stranded runners. yes, you can call boston generous. marguerite smith invited three runners and five friends into her home and fed the shivering group from kansas city .

    >> they were sitting there not able to get into their hotel, not having eaten, and they weren't complaining. they were just very charming.

    >> reporter: one of the runners, allie hatfield, posted pictures on her blog writing "people are good." and tonight you can say that about boston , too. anne thompson , nbc news, boston .

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