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Woman pulls neighbor out of burning mobile home in East Helena

Posted at 10:24 AM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 19:55:42-04

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. Tuesday in a mobile home park at 2765 Wylie Drive.

Firefighters arrived on scene to find 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 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 neighbors and was being checked out my medical personnel.

East Valley Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Noem said the man likely suffered smoke inhalation but was unsure if he sustained any burns.

Easy 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.


Firefighters are responding to a fire at a mobile home outside East Helena.

The fire was reported around 9 a.m. Tuesday in the 2700 block of Wylie Drive. Reports say one man is receiving medical attention, after neighbors got him out.

The East Valley Volunteer Fire Department is among the agencies responding.

A reporter is on the scene. This is a breaking news story and will be updated.