Good Samaritans overcome by flames and smoke can’t save victim - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Good Samaritans overcome by flames and smoke can’t save fire victim

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People who live near 1337 Jackson St. in Griffin heard their neighbor scream for help and jumped into action, but their heroics could not save 75-year-old Jewell Fambro's life.

"She was just laying right there burning, I tried to help, I grabbed her one time but she was so hot," Cortez Compton said.

Compton and another man, Tim Murry, ran to the front door and kicked it in but could not pull Fambro to safety.

"It was too much," Murry said. "Flames were from the door, to the edge of the step, shooting out the door. I could just see her laying in front of the door burning. She was a real nice, real nice and friendly lady. Like I say, I am 34, I have known her since I was 5 years old."

According to Spalding County Fire Marshal, Captain Eddie James, crews arrived in three minutes. They pulled Fambro out of the front door and then tried putting the fire out.

"It took 35 minutes to extinguish the blaze," James said. "When she actually came home, the fire may have been burning when she was inside the house. But, it was in the attic, the belief is that the ceiling failed and trapped her in the house and that is when the fire brought itself out."

Neighbors said Fambro had only been home about 30 minutes when they saw the flames.

"It is kind of rough," Robert Murry said. "We sit there and watch her every morning when the church van comes to pick her up, and they just said they left bible study before she got home and that's the part that got me. She just got home from church."

An exact cause of the fire is still under investigation but James thinks it was a short circuit in an overhead light bulb.

"We think it could be electrical, something in the ceiling, there is a bulb that was recently replaced," James said. "There was a light with wiring in the ceiling that had charring and was brittle to the touch."

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