Local Cabdriver Helps Arson Victims - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/05/05

Local Cabdriver Helps Arson Victims

Harris Patrick Harris Patrick

Two women still have a home tonight, thanks to the help of a cabdriver and his passenger. It happened overnight on Stiles Avenue, where a cabdriver was riding along with his passenger when they passed by a burning house. Without hesitation, they both ran to help.

Two women who lived there woke to find their home in flames. It was a fire caused by somebody throwing something into their home. "The device went through the window, it caught the couch on fire inside the home," said Matthew Stanley with the Savannah Fire Department.

That's when Yellow Cab driver Harris Patrick slammed on his brakes and he and his passenger, Christopher Hughes, ran to help. "I kept asking the lady while I was outside if there was anybody inside, and she wouldn't answer me, she was kind of panicking," Patrick told us.

Fearing there might still be people inside the house, Patrick grabbed the garden hose, sprayed himself down then ran inside. Not finding anybody in the house, he continued to douse the flames with the garden hose until he noticed the flames coming from the couch.

"From a fire department standpoint, we really don't recommend untrained and unequipped personnel trying this kind of thing," said Stanley. "It's really dangerous and you could easily become a victim."

Succumbing to smoke inhalation, Patrick barely made it out alive.

"I didn't want it to go through the ceiling or anything and go through the house, so I finally got it out and got myself out and collapsed," Patrick recalled.

"It's a noble act but it's very, very dangerous," said Stanley.

Investigators say the fire was arson. If you saw anything suspicious at the scene, please call CrimeStoppers at 234.2020 or call the Savannah Fire Department at 651.6758. 

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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