Baby lives, thanks to strangers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Baby lives, thanks to strangers

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February 22, 2007

Albany --  An East Albany five month old is saved from a burning house by two people who stopped to help.

The two Good Samaritans say they never thought about the danger to themselves. The house on Cordele Road caught on fire about 7:25 Thursday morning.

Two people from Worth County driving to work saw the flames. Both people said they never thought about just keep going. They stopped to see if anyone needed help, and now their friends are calling them heroes.

Karen Hill said her house went up in flames quickly. "The fire started with a candle somewhere in the front of the house, and we woke up to it."

Lawrence Fletcher of Worth County was driving by and saw the flames in the window. He was late for work because he had forgot his cell phone and returned home to get it, making him about 15 minutes late.

"Probably if I had not left my cell phone I would have been by the house before the flames got large enough for me to notice," Fletcher said.

Tammy Evans of Worth County was also driving by when she saw the flames, and called 911. "There was a lady run out of the house screaming, and I just U-turned in the middle of 300 in all the traffic, and went back to help without thinking."

Hill's five month old daughter, Nora Grace, was still in the middle room.

 "I was trying to get through the door, but the smoke inhalation, I couldn't get to her," Hill said.

Hill pointed out the room the baby was in, as the flames grew worse.

 "They were wrapping the house. They were coming up and lapping over the back porch roof and through the front door and the windows," Evans said.

Fletcher and Evans broke the bedroom window where the five month old was, and Fletcher crawled into the burning house. "I had no choice," he said. "I did not want to go. Honestly was not going to go until I heard the baby cry. Then I had no choice."

"He went in and the smoke just started boiling out there then," Evans said.

The smoke was too thick for Fletcher to see, but he went in. "I was just glad the baby was able to cry, so I could find it by the sound, and was able to get the baby and hand it back out the window."

 "When he reached the baby out, she was perfect, no marks on her, no smut, no nothing. Just perfect," Evans said.

The house was gutted by the flames quickly. One man inside the home suffered smoke inhalation and cuts diving out a window, and was taken to the hospital. Fletcher and Evans went on to work, and their co-workers hailed them heroes.

"No, I wouldn't say that. I was just in the right place at the right time," Fletcher said.

"She couldn't get back in the house, so somebody had to help her. And it just happened to be me," said Evans.

Firefighters have not released the name of the man who escaped the burning house.

Karen Hill and Nora Grace have been placed in an Albany motel by the Red Cross, and their home a complete loss. But they are together, thanks to two people who did not just drive by and ignore the fire. They stopped and saved a life.

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