Boy saves woman from deadly fire - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Boy saves woman from deadly fire

May 28, 2003

Blakely-- It's a remarkable story of courage.  Keion Bryant heard screams from a neighbors house on Palmetto Avenue Tuesday night. Two sisters, 72-year-old Bessie Ross and 78-year-old Vera Jackson, were trapped inside the burning home.

Sadly, one of them died, but the seventh grader managed to rescue the other one.

Thirteen-year-old Keion, wearing only a school uniform and socks, ran inside the burning home. He spotted 78-year-old Vera Jackson first.

"She was here, and the heater right here, she was up about three feet from the heater, I pulled her up, about halfway out the door, halfway out here," said Keion. "She was like laying on this, so the ladies from that house asked what happened. I said 'House on fire, house on fire!' They came running and helped me, and pulled her on the ground and pulled her over there."

"It's amazing with the fire and heat he was able to get in and out safely," said Chief Kenneth Jones of the Blakely Fire Dept. And he saved the life of a woman who was inside the burning  home.

After Keion Bryant pulled Vera Jackson to safety, he rushed back inside the home, fully engulfed in flames and smoke. He spotted Bessie Ross in the doorway and tried to save her as well.

"I walked right there, I walked her right about there, she snatched away from me and ran into the other room and I couldn't get her cause she just the door, I tried to get her but I only had my socks on and it was hot."

The flames were so hot and the smoke so thick, the seventh grader barely escaped. 72-year-old Bessie Ross died in the fire.

"It is amazing with the medical condition he already has, to breathe that much smoke and heat it didn't effect him more with the conditions he already has its amazing he was able to get out," said the Chief.

Born with a birth defect, Keion has worn a pace-maker for years, he also has high blood pressure and chronic broncitis.

But this young hero says he didn't even consider his own safety as he ran inside the burning home. "Something told me to keep going in there, so I just did it. I did it and it worked."

His courageous efforts worked. 78-year-old Vera Jackson is recovering from second degree burns at the Augusta Burn Center, and firefighters say were it not for Keion Bryant, two people would have died in the flames.

Fire investigators think that Bessie Ross set the fire herself. Ross suffered from mental health problems, and investigators think she lit the living room sofa on fire.

Fire chief Kenneth Jones plans to recognize Keion Bryant for his heroic efforts to save his neighbor.

posted at 4:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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