By Christy Wheeland – October 26, 2015
Residents and business owners in the downtown area are accustomed to receiving their mail pretty much at the same time every day. Postal carrier Aaron Hetherington makes his rounds like clockwork, greeting folks while making his deliveries.
On Wednesday, Oct. 21 he was running just a few minutes behind schedule when he walked up the sidewalk at Fannie Allison’s home on East Sycamore to place her mail in the box by her door.
That slight delay may be just what saved Allison from a tragic situation.
As Hetherington stepped up on the porch, the door burst open and Allison, 89, came running out on the porch. Her hair was singed and her face was black.
Allison screamed to the mail carrier, “There’s a fire!”
“It took me a second to realize what she said. She sat down on the porch and I saw fire on the floor of her living room,” Hetherington recalled. “At a glance I saw the hose to an oxygen machine and could hear the machine was still on. I knew the fire immediately needed to be out. Anything else I could deal with in a moment, but that was the pressing concern.”
After making sure there was no fire burning on Allison, Hetherington entered the home and started stomping to put the fire out. A burned area on the wood floor measured maybe 12 inches long by a few inches wide.
The oxygen tank was some 20 feet away, but the end of the oxygen hose had burned.
He dialed 911 on his cell phone to get help for the homeowner.
By this time, a neighbor had come over and was tending to Allison before paramedics arrived.
Hetherington said once the paramedic took charge and the oxygen had been turned off, it hit him that this could have been a bigger disaster.
“It still wasn’t a good thing, but it could have been awful with the library directly across the street,” he said. “Once I knew she was being taken care of and the situation was under control, I went on to finish my route. I tried not to think about what could have been.”
More/Source: Coweta American