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Two escape from Messner Street house fire

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man said he pulled an elderly woman from a burning home Monday night.
Benjamin Simpson said he was staying at his friend Thelma Hargrove’s home on Messner Street when the house caught fire about 11:30 p.m.
“A space heater near the windows caught the curtains on fire,” Simpson said.
As a neighbor on Messner Street saw the blaze and phoned 911 for help, Simpson said, he hurried into his friend’s bedroom.
“I seen it when them curtains caught on fire and I ran down the hall and closed the door behind me,” Simpson said. “If I hadn’t ran down the hall and closed the door, probably both of us wouldn’t have been standing here tonight.”
Simpson said he picked the 86-year-old up from her bed and helped her outside.
She was assisted to a neighbor’s house by EMS personnel and Rowan Rescue members.
Salisbury Fire Battalion Chief David Morris said paramedics checked both individuals, but neither were expected to be transported to the hospital.
“They both got out safely prior to our arrival,” Morris said.
Fire crews were able to enter the home, Morris said, and had a “fairly quick knockdown” of the fire.
“They’re in the process of salvaging the house and checking for hot spots,” Morris said, as firefighters continued to spray the front rooms of the home. He said an official cause was not immediately available.
Simpson laughed Monday night when asked if he thought he was a hero.
“Well, I guess so. If it wasn’t for me, she wouldn’t be here,” he said.
Simpson said he occasionally stays at Hargrove’s house.
He’s glad he did Monday night.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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