A house fire in West Des Moines on Wednesday totaled the home, but a neighbor’s quick thinking helped get the homeowner to safety.
Caleb Herrick, 16, was sitting in his room when he noticed something unusual.
“I saw all this black smoke go by, and I knew it was too dark to be chimney smoke,” says Herrick.
Herrick ran outside to see his neighbor’s house on fire and ran over to help.
“I heard cracklings and saw flames so I looked around the back and saw it. I yelled is anybody in there, is everybody okay, no response so I yelled again and the same thing,” says Herrick.
Soon the resident stumbled out and right away went to the garden hose.
“He was down on the grass trying to connect a hose to a faucet and there was fire under his leg so I pulled him away because his leg was almost caught on fire,” says Herrick.
After helping the resident to safety, Herrick flagged down a driver to call 911.
He then moved their vehicle out of the way so the fire truck could park right by the house. However, by the time crews arrived the fire had already spread.
“When I was back there, it was pretty concealed right on the wall than in two minutes, it was in the attic, it was coming out of the roof,” says Herrick.
Herrick stayed with the owner until paramedics arrived and said he’s glad he was able to help out a neighbor in need.
“I`m glad he got out okay because he had pretty bad smoke inhalation so I’m glad he got out when he did,” says Herrick.
Only one of the owners was home at the time of the fire. Fire officials say he suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns but was treated and released from the hospital later that same day.