SAINT HELENA ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - Witnessing an emergency situation is one thing. Reacting to it is another.
Rai Perry doesn’t know where she would be right now if it wasn’t for her neighbors. But it would not be in her home.
“I call it a God moment. Because it’s just amazing. The timing couldn’t have been any better,” said Perry.
The deck on Perry’s St. Helena Island home caught fire last Monday. Minutes before Bruce Fowler and Maria Ferguson drove past. But the couple didn’t just keep driving past.
“As we came by, we looked and saw the flames,” they said. “I’m looking and I’m like, her porch is on fire. And I looked back and I said, her porch is on fire.”
“We backed up and definitely it was on fire. So, she called 911,” said Bruce.
But Fowler did not wait for help to arrive. He jumped a fence in the yard, grabbed a garden hose and put out the fire that was starting to spread to the house.
“It was probably flaming up as high as the door. The handrails, all the handrails were flaming. I squirted the trailer first to try to keep it from catching fire.”
“Thank heavens for mindful, kind-hearted neighbors. It’s terrible in one way, but an incredible blessing in another,” said Perry.
“If she didn’t wake up, it could have been fatal. It really could have been fatal. It’s just an amazing thing, because if they hadn’t pounded on the door, she wouldn’t have got up,” said Ferguson.
“I’m just lucky I was at the right place at the right time.”
Since the incident, the neighbors have become closer friends.
“What I really like about this neighborhood is nobody really bugs you for anything. But they were there when you needed it. And I hope I guess I hope I could do as much,” said Perry.
“Well, it’s something I’d want somebody to do for me if they saw my place on fire. Just human instinct. Help your neighbor,” said Fowler.
Fowler and Ferguson were on their way to a local farmer’s market to sell the crabs they had caught earlier that day. Had they taken more time to leave their home, or stopped to feed their cats, the timing would have been different, and the first could have been a lot worse.