Sailors rescue woman from burning home

Sailors posing with victim's husband, photo by WAVY/Anita Blanton.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Two local Sailors rescued a woman from a burning home in the Southeast Community of Newport News Tuesday morning.

Around 11:20 a.m., emergency dispatchers started receiving calls about a house fire in the 600 block of 35th Street, according to Battalion Chief Steve Pincus with the Newport News Fire Department.

Photos: Sailors rescue woman from burning home

Before fire crews arrived at the scene, two Sailors from the USS Abraham Lincoln who were in the area on their lunch break saw smoke. Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Second Class Devon Bishop and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Third Class Jessica Jusino went to check it out. They came across a crowd of people near the blazing porch of a one-story home.

“[Jusino] asked if everything was ok, and [neighbors] said, ‘no someone’s still in there,’” Bishop said. “We hopped out the car to see if there was someone in there, and if there was, to try to get her out. Looked like she was trying to make her way to the back of the house, and I went up to her and said, ‘ma’am, your house is on fire. We gotta get you out of here.’”Sailors who rescued NN woman

A bystander told the Sailors an elderly woman was still inside the home, so they entered a side door and were able to help her to safety.

“She was just scared nervous shaken up,” Jusino said. “Being that she was in the back of the house, she didn’t smell, see, notice anything. I wouldn’t expect all this recognition. It’s not like we did it for a reason, it’s just instincts, get out and help her, that’s it.”

Fire crews arrived at the scene three minutes after being dispatched and found flames still visible in the front porch area. The fire was declared under control at 11:35 a.m., and no one was injured.

Pincus said fire damage was contained to just the front of the residence and the structure was not condemned. However, the estimated cost to fix the damage is $3,500.

Wednesday, despite the damage to his house, Earl Tearette can’t help but smile, especially when he came face-to-face with the two sailors who saved his wife’s life.

“May God bless them as much as He blessed us,” Tearette said. “I want to thank them. I can’t get enough time to say thank you. That’s all I got is my wife. Looking at the porch, and I was like, ‘Lord what happened?’ I could have lost her. That kind of gets me in an emotional state, but I’m grateful that it didn’t.”

Grateful is the best word to describe him. The front of his home and many of his belongings he and his wife had gathered there for an upcoming garage sale are charred. But there’s no price he can put on a life saved.

Even the brave Sailors are still taking everything in. The sailors say they went right back to work after all of that, and no one believed their story at first, until they saw that they were still shaking and smelled like smoke.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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