Woman saved from burning home in Bessemer, family asking for help

Local News

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — A Bessemer woman is safe after a neighbor pulled her from her home during a fire on her 81st birthday Thursday morning.

Priscilla Hooks told CBS 42 she was cleaning the bathroom of her home on Wesley Drive around midnight when she saw fire coming up from the floor. She tried throwing a rug on the fire, and when that didn’t help, she went to the door and shouted for her neighbor, who helped her out of the home.

When Bessemer Fire and Rescue arrived, Hooks had already been rescued.

“Thankful that I made it out and he made it out,” Hooks said. “God is a good God. He planned this, I know he did. He’s so good.”

Paul Stennies is the neighbor who helped Hooks. He was sitting in his car at his mother’s home across the street when he heard Hooks shouting. He said he’s just glad he was there to help.

“Whenever you see someone that could use some help, just lend them a hand, wherever you are,” Stennies said.

By the time firefighters arrived, Hooks was safely out of the home.

“We do see this on occasion, but not as much as we should,” Bessemer Fire Department battalion chief Chris Richards said. “It’s a really good thing when neighbors can come together and they can help each other, as long as they stay safe while they’re doing it.”

Hooks and Stennies watch the remaining smoke billow from Stennies’s mother’s home.

Richards said Hooks likely would have been injured and may have died if not for Stennies’ assistance. The home was heavily damaged by the fire. Hooks is staying with Stennies’ mother for now.

If you’d like to donate toward Hooks’s family’s effort to rebuild her home, you can find their GoFundMe page here.

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