Man saves woman from burning home

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Rosa Williams stands with Anthony Patterson, the man who helped rescue her from her burning home. — Powell Cobb

Anthony Patterson was traveling up East River Road Tuesday afternoon when he saw a pillar of dark smoke rising about a mile up the road.

He and his family were on their way from Clarksville, Florida, to Augusta for the summer. They decided to take the back roads for the trip.

Thank God they did.

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3417 East River Road, a humble country home, was in flames and getting worse by the second when the family rolled up. Patterson dialed 911 and sprinted to the front door. He frantically knocked, but heard no answer.

“Whenever I was beating on the door, I said someone was still here, both of the vehicles are here,” Patterson said. “That’s when I kicked the front door open.”

Smoke poured out as Patterson stepped inside, screaming for whoever could hear. The house’s resident, Rosa Williams, was asleep on her heating pad. Patterson’s loud voice woke her up. Together, they hurried out of the burning house.

“God sent him,” Williams said. “He’s my guardian angel. He got me out just in time. I don’t know how long it had been burning, because when he got me out the front, the black porch was all in blazes.”

Investigators said the fire started from a heating lamp Williams used for her baby chickens on the back porch.

Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Justin Kelly was responding to an incident right down the road when he heard the call for the fire on his radio. What caught his attention was the call-woman stating someone was still inside. By the time he arrived on scene, Williams and Patterson were safe outside.

“They make TV shows about stuff like that,” Kelly said about Patterson’s rescue.

Patterson said there was a reason he decided to take the route he did.

“The good Lord has a path for us everyday,” Patterson said.