Elderly couple rescued from fire on Christmas

Ricky Cliett, Resident who helped saved a couples life
Ricky Cliett, Resident who helped saved a couples life
Tim Connell, Thomasville Fire Marshall
Tim Connell, Thomasville Fire Marshall

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A Thomasville couple was hospitalized after their house caught on fire Christmas morning.

That's when Ricky Cliett said he heard his father screaming, begging for someone to help his next door neighbors.

"I actually didn't think about it I had no idea," he said. "When I came out the door and I seen it on fire I just knew I had to do something."

Officials said when the house caught on fire, an older married couple was trapped inside.

Thomasville fire investigators haven't confirmed the cause yet, but they believe it was from an overloaded power strip.

"You really have to be careful. Just because it has eight plugs doesn't mean you can plug eight things into it," said Thomasville Fire Marshall Tim Connel. You need to look at what you're plugging into. They will catch fire when they overheat and that's whats happening... people are putting too much load on the plugs and they're overheating and catching fire."

Firefighters said it's important not to overload surge protectors or extension cords, but also important to be careful when using burglar bars on the windows of your house.

Firefighters said it was hard for homeowners to get out of the house, and it was just as hard for residents to get in to save them.

"[It was] strength through God I guess cause I know I wasn't strong enough to do what I did," said Cliett. "I just popped it in, it popped. "I didn't snatch it off completely. I popped it. But they snatched it off, completely off the window."

Cliett said that with the help of other local residents and law enforcement they were able to save the couple.

Firefighters say the home is a total loss, and they're not sure where the couple will stay.

Firefighters also noted that the couple didn't have a smoke detector in the home, that could have helped them get out more quickly.

Residents who don't have a smoke detector in their home can call the Thomasville Fire Department and have them install a smoke detector for free.

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