Neighbors Save Man From Burning House

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

November 15, 2005

It all started innocently enough for one Charlottesville resident, who fell asleep while he was cooking eggs on his stove. He is only alive today because of the heroic efforts of two of his neighbors.

"I just saw smoke rolling out of the house and I went in and told my Dad to run inside the house to make sure the guy was OK," said Stephanie Thompson.

Just after 3 p.m., neighbors of the Naylor Street house saw smoke coming from the windows.

"[My daughter] was concerned that the guy was going to die in there because the house was on fire so I ran over and tried to wake the gentlemen up, [and] couldn't get him to wake up," said Bill Thompson.

The occupant at 2519 had fallen asleep while cooking eggs. Bill
Thompson entered the house and tried to wake the man up.

"I was concerned the gentlemen was going to die of smoke inhalation. The house was pretty smoky," Thompson said.

Beating back the smoke, Thompson made it to the stove and put the fire out. He managed to get the man up and out of the house, in turn saving his life.

"The occupant very well could have had smoke inhalation and could have ended up in a death so we're very proud of the Thompsons and the community. This is what makes it all good," said Charlottesville Fire Spokesperson Linda Johnson.

Thompson says he doesn't feel like a hero. "I would have done it for anyone," he said.

The resident, who does not speak much English and did not want his name released, was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. He said he is still a little unsure about what happened, but was happy that the Thompsons decided to lend a helping hand.

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