LAGRANGE, Ohio-- Whether it was good timing or just luck, a local family feels grateful that they were able to rescue their neighbor from her burning home.
The Thompsons had just returned to LaGrange from a family camping trip when Ashley Thompson, 20, noticed a car stopped in front of their neighbor's house on Forest St. in LaGrange.
She said a woman in the car was calling 911 and the man was running to the house to help.
“So I run over and I see smoke and there’s nothing but flames,” said Ashley.
She said she knew her neighbor and family friend, Sheryl Bailey, who is in her 60s, was inside the house and alone at the time.
Knowing that Sheryl is also paralyzed, Ashley said she and the man looked for ways to enter the house and finally gained access to the attached garage.
"And I can hear her yelling from inside,” said Ashley.
By that time, additional members of the Thompson family had also arrived to aid the rescue efforts.
They knew firefighters teach people not to ever enter a burning building, but they also said they had to do something.
Tim Thompson remembered another lesson from firefighters about dropping below the smoke.
“My dad gets over there and he just dives right in and he Army crawls to her, and dragged her out," said Ashley.
The rest of the family found an old wheelchair in the garage and quickly moved Sheryl to safety.
By the time firefighters arrived, the house was severely damaged, but the family was just grateful that Sheryl was alive.
She was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center to be treated for smoke inhalation, burns and other injuries.
Despite that, Ashley said her neighbor is still very strong and in good spirits.
“I was able to talk to her in the hospital and she had a sense of humor,” said Ashley. ”So it was good.”
When asked about the Thompson family's heroic actions, Ashley said they don’t feel like good Samaritans; they were just being good neighbors.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.