NEAR EAST HELENA — Residents in an East Helena neighborhood are hailing their neighbor as a hero after she pulled a man from his burning trailer.
The fire started around 9 a.m. on Tuesday in a mobile home park at 2765 Wylie Drive.
Firefighters arrived and found the home fully engulfed in flames.
Debbie Willoughby, who lives next door, says she raced over to the burning home after she and her husband saw smoke coming from the man's trailer.
Willoughby said the man inside was yelling for help, and she pulled him through the window of a door in the back of the home before firefighters arrived.
Willoughby, who sometimes uses a walker to get around, said she wasn't sure how she managed to pull him to safety, but knew that his life depended on it.
"I thank god that he's okay. I was just grabbing the door telling him he had to help yank the door open from the inside and I was pulling. I just grabbed him. I don't know how,” Willoughey said.
Willoughby said the man was taken to a neighbor's and was being checked out by medical personnel.
East Valley Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Noem said the man likely suffered smoke inhalation, but was not sure if he sustained any burns.
East Valley Fire Chief Dave Sammons said he suspects the fire started in the chimney of the man's wood stove and spread when the man opened the stove, exposing the fire to more oxygen.
(1st Report, 11:20 a.m.) Emergency crews are at the scene of a fire at a mobile home outside East Helena. The fire was reported at around 9 a.m. on Tuesday on the 2700 block of Wylie Drive, just outside the northwest edge of East Helena.
We have received reports that a man is receiving medical attention, after neighbors got him out.
The East Valley Volunteer Fire Department is among the agencies responding. There is no word yet on the cause of the fire.
We have a reporter at the scene and will update when we get more information.