Three college students, one of them from TCU, saved a Fort Worth woman from an early morning house fire and helped to extinguish the fire that engulfed the woman’s front porch, said the woman’s neighbors.Chris Hillis, a junior political science major, and two high school classmates, said they came out of their house at roughly 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 11 and saw the woman’s front porch ablaze. After a neighbor told them someone was inside the house, the students said they ran through the smoke onto the porch and began to knock on windows in an attempt to wake the woman.
They were “reacting to a very dangerous situation and they were brave enough to get involved,” said Teresa Tidwell, who lives across the street from the resident, who did not want to be identified.
The fire was limited to the front porch of the woman’s house, located at the 2500 block of Wabash Avenue, but caused damage estimated at $9,000, said Lt. Kent Worley, Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but no foul play is suspected, Worley said..
When Michael Karol, a University of Mississippi student, broke through a window, cutting his hand on the glass, the woman awoke and ran downstairs to let them in the door.
Hillis, whose mother works in the Center for Academic Services, said he tended to Karol while waiting for fire trucks to arrive. He said he acted immediately after he saw the front porch ablaze.
“You don’t think about (the fire),” said Hillis, 21. “You just hope that someone else would do the same thing for you.”
Tidwell said she was impressed with the way the students acted.
“They were very kind, very unselfish to rescue a lady out of her house,” Tidwell said.
John Kiley, a 20-year-old student at St. Edward’s University, ran into the kitchen when the woman opened the door, grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the remains of the fire as the fire department arrived, the woman said.
Hillis said the fire department arrived within four minutes of the 911 call. TCU Police arrived on the scene soon after, Tidwell said.
Karol, 20, said he was taken to Harris Methodist Southwest Hospital. He received treatment for his lacerated wrist and was released. However, he said he later underwent a successful surgery to repair the artery in his hand, and has since returned to school.