Neighbor helps save family, pets in Church Hill - WNEM TV 5

Neighbor helps save family, pets in Church Hill

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A Richmond woman is being hailed a hero after her quick thinking helped save lives! The fire ripped through a Church Hill duplex earlier Friday in the 800 block of North 27th Street. When a neighbor saw smoke and flames, she sprung into action going door to door.

Jonathan Wheeler rushed to his Church Hill home from work Friday morning when he learned a fire was at risk of spreading to his home and good thing he did. His 2 little dogs were inside all alone. 

"He's a little shaken up. He's not used to all the noises I suppose," Wheeler said. "I'm just thankful they came and got the dogs out. Everything else is replaceable." 

It's all because of this woman, Jessie Kadolph, who noticed something strange across the street. 

"The whole top was smoking, and then it started smoking out of the front," she said. 

So Jessie ran to the duplex to check on her neighbors. 

"Pounded on the door to the first house, they got out. Pounded on the door of the house next to it and heard some dogs barking," Jessie said. 

The Durant family's daughter and her friend were inside -- unaware of the fire that investigators believe started in the attic. 

"She called me and said mom, the neighbor knocked on the door and said get out the house, the back of the house is on fire," said Linda Durant. 

"She sort of looked at me in terror and turned around and went and got the other person in the house," Jessie added. 

When fire crews arrived, that quick thinking neighbor rescued the dogs taking them to her home until their owner could get there. 

"I'm very happy. That's all that mattered to me at that point," Wheeler said. 

This family, whose home is expected to be OK, is sharing that sentiment. But now that fear is turned to relief. 

"It could've been a whole lot worse so I'm grateful," Linda said. "I thank the fire department and my neighbors." 

"I was just in the right place at the right time", Jessie replied.

Investigators were able to get the situation under control within 30 minutes. The fire victims say earlier Friday they're not sure where they'll be spending the night - though the Red Cross was on hand to offer assistance. Crews say they expect the family will be able to return home soon.

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