Fires are a very scary event. They can start out relatively small, and within minutes they engulf an entire house, causing a lot of damage. Not to mention, they are quite deadly to humans.
When Mark Collum was asleep in his Rowley, Massachusetts home, he was completely unaware that just next door there was a fire raging. It wasn’t until 5 am when he hear screaming from his neighbor, that he knew what was happening.
As Collum explained to WCVB, he woke up to hear his neighbor, Deb Shanahan yelling for someone to help her. That is when he sprang into action.
He said to the news outlet, “There were flames billowing out the back, smoke filling up the kitchen. I just grabbed her and took her out.”
Luckily, Collum was able to get to her in time and help her get out of the house. He explained that both had some smoke in their lungs, but fortunately, it wasn’t too serious and they were able to make it out to safety.
Sadly, this isn’t the first brush with a house fire that Collum has experienced. Back in January 2001, Collum lost his family – wife Lisa and daughters, 4-year-old Lindsay and 5-month-old Carly – after a fire broke out in their Ipswich house. Collum, who wasn’t home at the time as he’s a commercial fisherman, was devastated.
While the horrific fire occurred 20 years ago, the Rowley Fire Captain, Ron Merry, happened to be responding to both – he was at Collum’s home fire and was also part of the crew that showed up to Shanahan’s house.
Merry shared with WCVB, “There’s a side to the whole thing that’s just ironic. I don’t know if a lot of people would do that.”
Fortunately for Shanahan, she only suffered minor injuries. The cause of her house’s fire is still being investigated. But more than anything, she’s lucky that her neighbor was quick to help.
“I’m glad things worked out today,” Callum added.
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