BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) –A Decatur County man's quick thinking likely saved his life and his nephews Thursday.
Roderick Anderson awoke to find his house on fire. But he didn't panic, saying he only had one thing on his mind: getting his young nephews safely out of the house.
There was no smoke alarm or fire truck siren to alert Roderick Anderson of the danger in his home Thursday morning.
"Something told me to wake up. So when I opened my eyes, I saw smoke and a blaze coming from the living room area," Anderson recalls.
And only one thing crossed his mind.
"I knew then I had to get my nephews out. That's all that mattered."
But with a fire just outside the bedroom door, there was only one way out.
"I bust the window out."
Anderson grabbed his 4-year old nephew first and dropped him out the window. He then reached back for his 1-year old nephew.
"And I hugged him in my arms and fell out the window with him," Anderson explains.
Soon neighbors and firefighters surrounded his home.
"I looked out my window and saw the reflection of lights and said my goodness what's going on?" remembers neighbor Mary Wadner. "I just wondered about the children."
Anderson's sister-in-law, the boys' mother, also rushed to the home from work.
"Very hysterical. She was panicking. And like I told her, I should have been the one panicking. But I didn't panic, so don't you panic," he says.
But Anderson says the shock is now wearing off.
"We were planning on having Thanksgiving dinner out there with family. But now we've lost everything and I don't know what to do. Junior keeps saying that his TV and game is gone. That's what he loved the most."
Anderson's grateful no one was hurt. And he says the fire should serve as a valuable lesson to others.
"Always have an escape route. Always plan," he warns. "And never block windows with nothing cause they do save lives."
"I'm so proud of him I don't know what to do," gushes Wadner. "I just hope the best for them."
As they enter the holiday season, with nothing but each other.
Firefighters believe an electrical short in the living room started the blaze.