Roommates recall saving neighbor from fire

December 16, 2010 4:38:41 AM PST
On Tuesday, there was a fire so large and dangerous the fire department called three alarms on it, and the woman who lived there is safe, thanks to two young men.

They jumped into action when they saw the giant flames engulfing townhomes on Post Oak and River Hollow.

The victim is being treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation and burns but is expected to make a full recovery. However, it might have been a very different outcome had it not been for the actions of two young neighbors.

McLean Jones and Abel Noah have been through a lot together, from high school to roommates at Texas Tech and now as young professionals.

But Tuesday night's inferno was something the banker and engineer had never encountered. They smelled smoke at their Post Oak Park townhome and then saw flames just a couple of doors down.

"First thing we asked, 'Has the fire department been notified?' The answer was yes. Second question, 'Are the tenants out of the units?'" Jones said.

No one was certain of the answer.

"Once we realized that Barbara was unaccounted for, we didn't really think, we just acted," Noah said.

Their neighbor, Barbara, wasn't answering as they pounded on the doors.

"It was starting to get very hot," Noah said.

The doors were locked.

"Once we got into her patio, we realized she was upstairs and we could hear these faint cries for help. She was just saying, 'I'm up here, I'm up here,'" Jones said.

Jones climbed a fence and was on top of the carport to get to her.

"She was just in shock, bless her heart," he said.

"The entire front half of her body was covered in black," Noah said.

After gathering some of her belongings from the home on Wednesday, the victim's friend, Steve Morris, says while she'll probably be in the hospital several more days, she's going to be OK.

"They did a pretty good job because if they were not there, her getting up from the stairs coming down, it would have been very difficult for her," Morris said.

But after Jones and Noah had delivered Barbara to EMS, she told him she left something upstairs.

"I'm a dog lover myself so the second plan of action was to get the dog out," Jones said.

And Jones did -- after working his way back up there and kicking in a second-story window. Noah was quick to give the credit to his longtime friend.

"I do think of him as a hero because he didn't even think twice about it, he just acted and I guess that's what a hero does," Noah said.

Jones says he's no hero, just a good Samaritan.

"I'm glad I was there and I'd do it again if given the chance," he said. "It's just something that's sort of hardwired into me; I'm going to help other people."

The roommates wish their neighbor a speedy recovery. Both of the roommates were up most of the night but they still made it to work on Wednesday.


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