GAFFNEY, SC (WSPA) – Big flames and smoke were gushing from a Gaffney home. Before fire crews got on Providence Road Bruce Adams and Charles Benton happened to be driving by.
“The lady on the porch – I asked if somebody was in the house and she said yes,” said Adams.
With the fire to the back of the home, neighbors also didn’t first notice the flames.
“I looked again and I see it and I said that smoke looks like it’s coming from the top where the attic is,” said Rose Manning, who then called 9-1-1. “I said – these people across the street, their house is on fire.”
Inside the home, an older man was sleeping in a front room. Adams and other neighbors rushed inside to help.
“I actually had to grab him because I scared him,” said Adams. “At first he was telling me to get out of his house and I’m telling him that your house is on fire.”
Benton says a child was also inside as the flames were spreading.
“I just told him to get out when I saw him,” said Benton. “Right place, right time.”
Fire crews arrived and got the fire under control in about 35 minutes.
“Found the back half of the house fully involved,” said Gaffney Fire Department Chief Jamie Caggiano. “We could not locate any working smoke detectors.”
Chief Caggiano says investigators believe the fire may have started in the dryer. “The occupant admitted that she left the dryer running when she left with the gentleman there. Everything points back to the area of the clothes dryer,” said Chief Caggiano.
He says they don’t recommend people enter burning homes because of the dangers but this time a community came together to help one of their own.
“If I had to do it again, I would,” said Adams.
The fire chief says people living without smoke detectors can contact the Gaffney Fire Department to get these lifesaving devices installed at no cost. He also recommends that folks ensure dryer vents area cleared and that families establish escape plans in the event of a fire.