CLEVELAND (WJW) – It was an emotional reunion Thursday when players from the semi-pro team the Cleveland Rams sat down for the first time with the man they saved a week ago.
On April 20, Henry Clay was sleeping when a fire ignited at his east 173rd Street house from a space heater. When he woke up, the 59-year-old tried to get out of the smoke-filled home but passed out in his doorway.
The Rams were practicing that evening at Roye Kidd Field. EMT and former firefighter Marquis Moton was one of the players who came to the rescue.
“Mind you, we still got gloves, threw our helmets off, got the cleats on, jump over the fence and as we come over there, we see the guy in the doorway, get him out.”
Much of the rescue was a fog for Clay.
“I don’t remember them carrying me across the street. I do remember sitting on the lawn across the street, and one of the guys, he didn’t leave my side,” he said.
That was Charonjeone Williams, who works as a nurse.
“He kept leaning back. I didn’t want him to fall back, I wanted him to get as much air as he can because of the smoke,” Williams said.
Five of the team members came on the FOX 8 morning show Thursday where they were recognized for their heroism. Serpentini Chevrolet gifted the men a $100 gift card each.
“We are very grateful for the gift they gave us, but we will try to give that to Mr. Clay so we can try to recuperate some of his life back,” said team owner Randy Knight.
The damage to clay’s childhood home is extensive and the team has already set up a GoFundMe to help him start over.
It turns out the Rams are also looking for a new home to practice and play.
“We got the news that our field was taken away from us because of scheduling difficulties so now we have our first game May 7 and we’re looking for a home field,” said Knight.
But wherever they are, they will have a new honorary teammate in Clay.