Quick-thinking neighbor rescues woman from house fire - WNEM TV 5

Quick-thinking neighbor rescues woman from house fire

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

Authorities say a quick-thinking neighbor helped rescue a woman from a house fire in Flint Township. 

It was reported just before 7 a.m. on the 2100 block of Bernice. 

Michael Burkley, assistant fire chief with the Flint Township Fire Department, said a woman in her 70s was inside sleeping at the time of the fire. 

Burkley said a neighbor smelled the smoke and knocked on the woman's door to wake her up. 

"I called 911. I ran to her house and started pounding on the door hoping she’d answer. There wasn't an answer for quite a while and so I kept pounding. And 911 told me to keep pounding so I did. And finally Lydia came to the door and she went inside to grab a couple things, her purse, and I said let’s get out,” Sandra Jeans said. 

The woman escaped the blaze, but went to the hospital with back injuries after falling. 

She was the only person home at the time.

Her home wasn't quite as lucky.

"Extensive damage. This will be a total gut and remodel," Burkley said.

He said the fire started in the back of the home and quickly moved to the roof.

The single digit temperatures added another dangerous obstacle for the firefighters.

"The gear works two different ways and it works to our advantage and then after a certain point everything is froze up. Again, frigid temperatures very difficult to work in this kind of environment," Burkley said.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire, but said smoke detectors and a heroic neighbor saved a life.

Jeans said she has known her neighbor for more than 20 years, but the fire is not how they wanted to start out 2018.

"She says 'oh my house.' And I said 'don't worry about your house. It's just you. That's all we care about,'" Jeans said. "I just care about my neighbor and she's a sweet lady. I just wanted to make sure she was OK and I'm glad she is because the house can be repaired."

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