Man escapes fire by climbing out window - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Man escapes fire by climbing out window

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Hendley climbed out this window to escape Hendley climbed out this window to escape
The house is a total loss The house is a total loss
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

An Albany man had to dive out his bedroom window early Saturday morning to escape a fire that completely destroyed his home.

 He says it's a miracle he is alive, but even more fortunate that his wife and his mother were not home at the time of the blaze, because he does not know if he could have gotten them out in time.

 The fire forced Roger Hendley to dive out of his home on Westmeade Road just after 2 in the morning. But then to make matters worse, he could not get help to call the fire department for about another 30 minutes.

65 year old Roger Hendley looks through the ashes of what was his home for 17 years. Early Saturday morning he made a sandwich, and somehow sparked the blaze. He was asleep when suddenly his bedroom door blasted open.

Hendley said "It was like somebody had taken a big rubber mallet and hit the door. Bam, and it popped open. But if that door hadn't popped open, I don't know if I had would ever woke up. I just don't think I would have."

Hendley said all he could see was flames blocking the hall and he had to dive out this bedroom window to escape.

 Hendley said "When I sat up, the smoke, but then I could see the flames down the hallway. I couldn't see them directly but I could see them dancing. The flames dancing like down the hallway."

Hendley said when he hit the ground it knocked the breath out of him, and he had to crawl away to get his bearings.

But to make matters worse, Hendley then went from neighbor to neighbor looking for help to call the fire department, but could not wake anyone.

" Knocked on the door. Couldn't get nobody," said Hendley.  "Didn't have anything on but my pajama bottoms. So I made my way to the next house down. Couldn't get nobody."

When firefighters finally arrived, the flames had broken through the roof. Today Hendley is thankful to be unhurt, and that his wife and mother were not home. He doubts that he could have gotten them out of the burning house alive. Still it hurts to have lost a lifetime of possessions and memories.

Hendley says "Just take it a day at a time. Move on."

A retired Merck employee, Hendley is not sure his family will rebuild there. He is staying with family now, waiting for his wife to return.

Firefighters say the cause of the blaze was cooking.

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