Richmond Co. Deputy saves family in house fire

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News 12 at 6:00, July 6, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- This is all that's left at 2438 Wilkshire Drive in Augusta. Nothing but the front wall and the chimney. But it could've been much worse.

"As I approached Eisenhower Drive I noticed what looked like smoke and kind of a weird glow," Lt. Jimmy Wylds said.

Lt. Jimmy Wylds with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office was driving to work Friday morning just before 5:00 but drove to the fire instead. When he got there, the flames were through the roof.

"I saw a lady trying to push a woman in a wheel chair out of the house so I went up, she said can you help me pull this wheel chair, so I pulled her out to the road. I went back to the house to see if anybody was in there, and was yelling for people to get up that it was on fire. I found a few people in there and they were able to get out," Lt. Wylds said.

Firefighters say all five people got out, and no one was injured.

"He went above and beyond the call. By re-entering the house to make sure no one else was left behind," Lt. Neal Brown said.

Chris Burkett lives across the street and says first the power went out and then he heard all the fire trucks. Neighbors say it was a frightening situation that could've turned deadly.

"I think most all of our deputies are heroes, especially this one that was involved, and the firefighters and first responders that got here. And I think they did an incredible job," Chris Burkett said.

"I don't consider myself a hero by any stretch of the imagination. You know, I'm just a guy that was doing his job," Lt. Wylds said.

Again, firefighters say no one was injured. The Red Cross is helping the family with a place to stay.

Firefighters are still investigating. But Lt. Brown says it looks like the fire started in the back shed and that a propane tank exploded. Neighbors say they heard the explosion and say it looked like a huge fire ball.

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