Hometown Hero: May Howard fire

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - There's a reason the fire at May Howard Elementary School two weeks ago didn't do even more damage.

Two reasons, really. The student and the maintenance mechanic who worked separately, but together, might have saved the school.

"It could have been a lot worse,'' said Richard Mason, the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System maintenance mechanic, who was working at May Howard on Aug. 14. "The portables are really old and they're like tinder boxes. It would have burned all the portables down in my opinion.''

When fifth grader Taylor Horan noticed a problem with one of the school's portable classrooms, she acted quickly.

"I saw smoke and I smelled it too,'' she said. "So, I asked what to do and I ran to the office because they told me to.''

Then Mason jumped in and took control of the situation.

"I saw it coming out of one of the eves, one of the teacher's pointed it out to me,'' Mason said of the fire. "I just started screaming and hollering and grabbing fire extinguishers. We just told everybody to get out of there.''

But the room wasn't empty.

Mason went back in to save Charlie, the school's pet bearded lizard.

"I just ran in there and grabbed the bearded dragon out of the aquarium,'' said Mason. "I gave him to the principal, who wasn't too happy, but she held him.''

"I came around the corner once I was alerted and the next thing I knew, there was a bearded dragon in my arms,'' said Lesley Taylor, May Howard's principal. "I never expected that.''

But Taylor does want to let May Howard's two WTOC Hometown Heroes know how much everyone appreciates them saving Charlie and the school.

"For her to be conscientious enough to come and alert us to this almost tragic ending,'' said Taylor "She's just a remarkable kid. And the idea of having him put out that fire with a fire extinguisher and saving a bearded dragon, he's a great guy.''

And part of a great team, two weeks ago at May Howard.

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