Elderly couple saved from burning home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Elderly couple saved from burning home

^ Roosevelt Prise ^ Roosevelt Prise

January 29, 2003

Clay County-- Miracle. It's a word we use probably too often to describe an event that seems unusual or hard to explain. But every now and then something happens, and there's just no other word for it.

The home John and Sarah Giles shared for years is nothing more than a few crackling tinders now. Tuesday afternoon, something went wrong with their gas fireplace.

Electrician Roosevelt Prise happened to be here doing some work.

Maybe that's just luck.

"He came around and said the house was on fire," said Prise. "I asked him where was his wife, and he said she was still inside."

Prise rushed inside and rescued Mrs. Giles. "She was laying pretty close to the front door, and I drug her outside," said Prise.

But Mr. Giles had gone back in through another door, hoping to save his wife. Now, he was trapped.

"I came around to the front, and I had to take force to get in." It took two more trips inside the burning home, but Prise saved Mr. Giles too.

"I didn't get quite close enough to him the first time, and I had to go back out and get some air. The smoke was real bad in that area. When I went back in the second time, I went on in straight to him and got hold of him and pulled him out."

He knew just what to do. You see, Roosevelt Prise the electrician is also Roosevelt Prise the Volunteer fireman.

Maybe that's just luck.

Right when Prise pulled Mr. Giles out, almost the very second he got outside, a Clay County EMS crew just happened to be driving by in their ambulance. "They saw the smoke coming out the top of the house, and just luckily they was in the area."

Mrs. Giles wasn't breathing well. The paramedics say if they had not gotten here when they did, she wouldn't have made it.

Maybe that's just luck.

John and Sarah Giles are being treated at a burn center in Birmingham, seriously injured, but alive.

Roosevelt Prise and two paramedics are heroes.

Maybe that's just a miracle.

The Giles' King James Bible burned in the fire, but a couple of singed pages floated out of the rubble.

We found this one in the yard. It's from the Old Testament, a page from Second Kings, and one of the verses says: “And the Lord was gracious unto them and had compassion on them and had respect unto them because of his covenant and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.”

Update:

The couple remains in the hospital. Mrs. Giles was airlifted to the University of Alabama Burn Center in Birmingham. She remains in critical condition. her husband is listed in fair condition.

updated at 5:35PM by dave.miller@walb.com