Bainbridge Public Safety said a local teenager helped three people escape a house that was on fire by going inside and waking them up.
Tchaikovsky Williams was walking by the house located at 408 4th Street in Bainbridge around 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning and saw smoke coming from the back of the home.
Williams knew the people living in the home and broke through the front door to get to them. He was met by a wall of smoke so he dropped to the floor. He decided it might be better to approach from the back so he retreated out the front door and ran around to the back of the house.
Flames were visible so he broke a window to gain access, cutting his hand in the process. Williams shouted for the residents to wake up and get out, because the home was on fire. Alisia Hopkins, Deborah Harper, and Bernard Akins were all asleep and were wakened by Williams’ shouts. All three got out of the home safely.
The fire was electrical in nature and started in a utility room at the rear of the home, according to Bainbridge Public Safety.
BPS Engineer Jeff Kelly responded with a fire truck from the West Bainbridge fire station. Captain David Cutchin put on his turnout gear and helped Kelly knock down the flames.
“When we got there, there was already heavy smoke coming through the house,” Captain Cutchin said. “The fire had already completely burned through a wall next to a water heater, and the flames were moving into the home’s attic.”
Bainbridge Fire Chief Doyle Welch said it was lucky that Williams came by the house when he did.
“There was a bracket for a smoke alarm but there was no working smoke detectors in the house,” Chief Welch said. “If he hadn’t been walking by when he did, we could have had a tragedy on our hands this morning.”
Welch said he encourages citizens to buy smoke alarms for multiple rooms in their houses, and check and make sure the batteries are working every few months.
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