A landlord is calling one of her tenants a heroine, after two families lost their homes to fire in Lockwood Saturday.
A woman living in one of the homes saw the fire before it spread and she alerted a family of four, which included two young girls, in the other home.
Reston and Mary Thode walked around their burned rented home at 270 Bonnie Lane in Lockwood on Sunday.
“This was a beautiful royal blue 2007 Denali that I’ve had for about four months,” Mary Thode said about her car that burned in the driveway.
“Reston’s mom had given us when I had my oldest daughter,” she said about a rocking chair that burned.
Two antiques, a child’s chair and rocking horse, from Reston’s great grandmother were not severely damaged.
Mary said smoke and fire spread quickly.
“Every time you breathe in, it was burning my throat and I can only imagine my girls,” Mary said. “It was burning my eyes. It was just a big heavy layer you couldn’t even see through it. It took probably 30 seconds after the window shattered in the kitchen to completely start filling the house.”
Reston and his two girls were playing hide and go seek, and he grabbed them quickly and ran outside.
“And he just pushed past me which was fine because he had both my kids,” Mary said.
“Got the back door open,” Reston Thode said he did while carrying his daughters, ages 5 and 4. “And rounded up and got them outside and that was about all the time we had there.”
The Thodes found out about the fire from the neighbor.
“And I heard the garage door open, which scared me,” said Jeanette Klein-Threadgill, a neighbor who lived in the other home that burned. “Because nobody should be opening the garage door. So I ran out to see what was going on and I just poked my head out. And I looked, and I saw the fire over here. So I felt like the Lord opened that garage door and got my attention. I really do.”
“If that’s not the epitome of a heroine, you know what, if that’s not a definition for it,” said Judith Hanson, the landlord. “What is?”
“This could’ve have turned out a lot worse,” said Mary Thode. “So yeah, Jeannette saved our family.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Thode family.
Meanwhile, the Lockwood Fire Department has not yet released a cause for the fire.