ESCATAWPA, MS (WLOX) - Two Escatawpa residents are being called heroes after they helped rescue a 102-year-old, her grandson and dogs from their burning home around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"It was smoky, but it was on the back and after we got her through it, it spread and came out of the rooftop," said Octavius Kirkland.
Kirkland and his friend, Matthew Taylor, admit they've never experienced a morning like today. It all started just before sunrise when a raging fire broke out next door to them. Kirkland and Taylor said a man staying at the burning house ran over and said his 102-year-old grandmother was trapped inside.
"He was like, 'My Grandma is in there. My mom is in the hospital,' and as far as he could get her is halfway through the house," Kirkland said.
The intense blaze was caught on cell phone video. Despite the huge flames and smoke, the men ran inside to rescue the elderly woman.
"I grabbed her by her arms," said Taylor.
"I was like this up under her legs, and we just went with it," Kirkland said.
They also saved the pets trapped in the inferno.
"We came back and got the two dogs, a black and brown dog and a little white dog, and came back and got their dog food to feed them," Kirkland said.
Escatawpa's volunteer fire team, who put out the blaze, called the men heroes.
"I think it is amazing. I really do. Being the chief of the fire department and seeing what we see every day, it really means the world to me see neighbors like this caring about their neighbors," Chief Donnie Lowery said.
The two friends said they appreciate all the accolades, but just knowing their elderly neighbor is safe is thanks enough.
"We were more concerned with her safety than anything else," said Taylor.
"We didn't even think about it. We just went," said Kirkland.
The woman and her grandson were transported to Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. Hospital officials said she is in good condition. Her grandson has been treated and released. As for the cause of the blaze, it's still under investigation.