Neighbor runs into burning home to save another - WSMV News 4

Neighbor runs into burning home to save another

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A Millersville family is all safe thanks to the daring actions of their neighbor. Jean Medley ran into their burning home to save a sick family member and the dog.

"I love Tom to death, and he's done a lot for me, so you got to save a life," Medley said.

Medley says she first smelled smoke, then looked outside and saw fire coming from Dania and Tom Tawater's home. She knew Tom was sick, so she rushed over.

"I grabbed my cell phone, went running out the door, busted in his door and went and got him out and woke him up out of bed," Medley said. "(I) got him and the dog out of the house."

"I couldn't ask for a better neighborhood, I really couldn't," Dania Tawater said.

Tawater was at the store with her granddaughter when she got a call she'll never forget.

"When I pulled up flames were shooting out the roof, the eves and the side eves," Tawater said. "It was blazing."

Tawater said it was a difficult sight to see her home of nearly 15 years burning.

Several fire crews worked to put out the flames. But Millersville Fire Chief Thomas King said since the fire burned for nearly two hours before anyone noticed, the damage was already done.

"If you can get a big enough head start on the fire you can save it," Kind said. "If the fire has had a head start on the fire department, this is what you are going to end up with."

A Millersville firefighter was hurt while fighting the blaze. Thomas said he was shocked and fell from a ladder. The firefighter is now back home. Thomas said it took the electric company some time to get to the Tawater's home and cut the power.

Firefighters pointed to cigarettes as the cause. Tawater said they do smoke, but never inside and always put the cigarette butts in a wet flower box. But she said Saturday the wind blew the embers, which eventually led to the fire that destroyed her home.

"You try to be safe, but sometimes things happen," Tawater said.

The Tawaters lost nearly everything in the fire. They're living with family members in the area.

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