Danny Rowe and his Sunday school buddies weren’t even supposed to be in town Thursday afternoon, so maybe it was divine intervention that something at work delayed their scheduled ATV trip.
Rowe and five other men — Josh Stapleton, Jeremy Briscall, Rod Trivette, Chris Vicars and Jordie Denny — rescued a woman from a burning house at 2406 Oak St. in Gray, just across the street from where Rowe lives.
A seventh rescuer, who pitched in after he rode upon the scene on his motorcycle, also helped the others but left the scene before anyone got his name.
The rescued woman, unidentified at this time, is apparently a live-in sitter for the 89-year-old woman who owns the house, according to fire personnel.
Rowe’s wife, Becky, and others at the scene performed CPR on the woman while waiting on medical rescuers to arrive.
Neighbors said the fire started as someone at the house was attempting to move a motorized recliner outside because of a short in the wiring.
One neighbor said the relatives of the woman told her the chair “burst into flames,” and everyone ran out the back door.
But the sitter, even after being discouraged by neighbors and her employer, ran back inside to retrieve some of her belongings, said the neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.
When Becky Rowe, a radiology tech at Franklin Woods, walked out of their home and saw the flames, she called her husband.
“I told him Mrs. Calloway’s house was on fire and someone was inside,” she said.
Danny Rowe and his pals didn’t hesitate to run over to assist. The men used their bare hands to rip siding off the house, pull out insulation, break through sheetrock and break out a window to reach the trapped victim.
After the fire was out and the victim transported to the hospital, Danny Rowe and his friends shrugged off their actions.
“I did what I was supposed to do,” he said.
His wife did, too.
As a hospital employee, Becky Rowe is trained to perform CPR, and she’s done it at work a few times but “not in the field,” she said.
But when the men pulled the victim from the house, Becky Rowe’s training kicked in.
“She had a faint pulse, but no breaths,” Becky said.
They cleaned off the woman’s nose and mouth and she took a few breaths before she lost her pulse.
“Then we did CPR,” Becky said. As soon as medics from the Washington County/Johnson City EMS arrived, the woman was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center.
Her name and condition are still unknown at this time.
Sulphur Springs Volunteer Fire Department took lead on the scene and were assisted by Gray VFD and Fall Branch VFD.