Two passers-by in a pickup truck woke up a Lexington townhouse resident Monday and helped him escape flames and smoke with their ladder, according to a fire official and neighbor.
The man, who works third shift, was sleeping upstairs about 10:55 a.m. at 2157 Santa Anita Drive when he was alerted to the fire by the bystanders banging on the door, said Carol Johnson, a neighbor.
Johnson was in her back yard next door when she first saw smoke and flames. After running to the front of the house, Johnson said she saw two men banging on the door.
The man inside woke up, busted the screen of his second-story window and grabbed two of his four dogs, Battalion Chief Mark Harvey said. The passers-by got the ladder from the pickup.
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The resident used the ladder to carry the two dogs to safety, Harvey said. Firefighters later rescued the other two.
The two passers-by left before they could be thanked, but they made the difference in getting the trapped man out safely, Harvey said.
“I think they were angels,” Johnson said. “All my neighbors said they’d never seen that truck (before) and the guys are gone. It restores your faith is what it does for me.”
The townhouse resident was taken to a local hospital to be checked out, Harvey said.
The fire, which started outdoors in the back of the townhouse, caused moderate damage to the first floor, but the residents should be able to return in a few days after some clean up, Harvey said. The adjoining townhouse wasn’t damaged.
The fire’s cause hasn’t been determined but it appears to be accidental, Harvey said.
The two passers-by were not the only Samaritans of the day, Harvey said. While firefighters worked in the heat, a woman in the neighborhood took them water and Gatorade.
“We can’t thank folks like that enough, who think about us on a day like this or think about this gentleman who was in this house,” Harvey said.