Good Samaritans save elderly lady from house fire last week
By Paula WalterWhen a recent fire broke out on Monday, July 2 in the space above her carport, Juanita Gentry soon discovered there are Good Samaritans living in her neighborhood. Neighbors Joseph Morefield and Ruben Calderon noticed smoke coming from the space over Gentry’s carport and immediately sprung into action to make sure she was out of the house and safe.
Twelve year-old Morefield was in his bedroom when he noticed smoke outside. Grabbing his cell phone, he ran outside and discovered the fire. With the help of Calderon, they were able to help the 87-year old Gentry out of the house. Calderon had been driving down Hospital Road to check on his family when he noticed the smoke coming from the back of the house. He soon realized Gentry was unaware of the fire and he called for her to come outside. With English as his second language, Calderon gestured to her and repeatedly told her to get outside quickly. Gentry walks with the use of a cane on unstable ground, and Morefield and Calderon rushed to get her to safety. In a recent interview with Calderon, he indicated he believes that God put him there at that particular time to help Gentry.
Morefield quickly called 911, and soon the Red Cross and fire trucks from the First District in Laurel Bloomery, the Second District, Neva, Doe and Mountain City had responded and were at the scene. “They had to put holes in the space over the garage to put the fire out,” Morefield said. At the time of the incident, the cause was not known but it was believed to be an electrical fire. Calderon and Morefield were able to help Gentry to a chair outside before she was taken to a police car for safety. Calderon waited and made sure Gentry was safe before leaving the scene.
According to Gentry, she was sitting in the house and thought she heard a siren going off. Walking to the front door to see what was going on, she noticed Calderon motioning her to get out of the house. “They were two of the nicest people I’ve ever come in contact with,” she said. Due to some quick thinking, some of Gentry’s clothes and pictures on the wall were retrieved. According to Gentry, the den, laundry room and office area took most of the beating from the fire.
Despite her loss, Gentry is thankful that her home was not completely destroyed and that in time, everything will soon be back to normal.