A family and their pets are without a home after a fire Monday afternoon destroyed their west side home in the 2100-block of West Columbia Street. A neighbor heard screams and knew that this family needed help.
The family and their pets got out safely thanks to Micah Hooker, a neighbor who was taking out his trash late Monday afternoon. But that simple task meant a lot more that day.
“I heard screaming so I ran inside real fast,” Hooker said.
The family got out safely on their own, but their four-legged friend was still in there. That’s when Hooker sprung into action.
“It was just spur of the moment craziness,” Hooker said. “By the time I got outside the house was pretty much in flames.”
Micah saved the family’s dog but ended up suffering smoke inhalation.
An EFD investigator said the fire was caused by a child lighting a mattress on fire with a lighter. EFD said the fire started in a storage space off the house.
“I just couldn’t believe all those little kids were in there and a little girl was crying because she thought her cats were lost and a little bit later the firefighters had one on oxygen,” Monica Voegel, a neighbor, said.
A family may have lost things in the fire but Hooker, who plans to become a firefighter someday, gained something.
“I feel like a better person now, being a little less selfish is what it makes me feel like, being able to save something,” Hooker said.
The family who lived in the house is now under the care of the Red Cross and staying in a hotel.