Baldwin County sheriff’s deputy rescues woman from burning home
“Strangely enough I’m not surprised one bit that Deputy Josh Mays would go in a burning house to save someone,” Massee said.
The house fire happened Monday around 4 p.m. A 911 call came in to dispatcher Patrick Bohannon.
“When I picked it up, the other line had already hung it up or disconnected,” explained Bohannon.
Bohannon dispatched Mays to a home on Benson-Adams Road. Once Mays arrived he reported the house fire. Mays tried to go inside the house a couple of times, but the heavy smoke forced him back out.
Baldwin County Sheriff Lt. Lee Williamson and Mays used mask to get the victim out of the home.
“I went to the trunk of my car got a gas mask and attempted to go inside the house,” said Williamson.
The lieutenant had problems with his mask, so Mays had to go inside the burning home alone. The deputy remembers hearing calls for help.
“When you hear someone cry that kind of cry it….. it gave me the determination and the will power. God put me there for a reason,” added Mays.
He says the house was filled with flames and smoke. Fire consumed the walls and roof, which made it difficult to locate the woman screaming for help.
“She was behind the kitchen table the roof had started falling in on her. Her hair was on on fire. I grabbed her and tried wiping her hair down. I wiped her hair and her hair come off. Her hands were on fire,” he continued.
He says without thinking of his own safety, the deputy swept in and rescued her from the flames that had engulfed the interior of the home.
“I grabbed her wrapped her in my arms. All I could do is force my way back out of the house,” he said.
The incident is sparking the county’s fire department and sheriff’s office to train together.
“Well, they’ll know kind of what to do or not to do hopefully help them if this situation ever happens again,” Baldwin County Fire Chief Troy Reynolds said.
Sheriff Massee says Mays exemplifies the character of the men and women at the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.
“Most deputies sheriffs are not trained for any type of firefighting work,” explained Massee. “Josh Mays went into a life saving mode because he is a deputy sheriff and he is just a person, who was not going to let somebody die.”
The victim, Patsy Smith, is recovering from severe burns at an Augusta hospital.