A Jacksonville man is recovering in St. Vincent’s Medical Center after being rescued from his burning home on Ranchero Road on Tuesday.
Jerry Williams told Channel 4 that his dog, Sweetie, and a nurse that happened to be driving by saved his life Tuesday afternoon.
“Laying there smoking, and I guess I was nodding out and an ash hit my towel that I was on, and she jumped up on the bed and woke me up,” explained Williams.
Williams, who relies on a wheel chair, said the fire was in between him and his chair, so he had to act quickly to get out.
“It was dark and I said, this is how people die,” said Williams from his hospital bed Wednesday. “You know I was thinking I’m on the floor, there is supposed to be air down here and it was so dark, but I couldn’t see so I crawled and I hit my head on the cabinets, I couldn’t see the door, so I hollered for her, and I heard her jingle from her tags, and followed that to the back door and got out.”
Once outside, Williams started hollering for help.
“The health nurse was driving by, she heard me, I started hollering ‘help’ then I said -- everyone comes to a fire -- so I started hollering 'Fire!' she came by and drugged me off the back porch,” said Williams.
“I kinda went into safe mode you know as far as the training I’ve had in the past, I took off my jacket and put it underneath him to protect him as a barrier when I was pulling him. I was kinda nervous because there were electrical wires that had caught on fire and I was standing in water from the flood the night before. But, I just knew if I didn’t do anything he could have been in a worse position,” said Adrienne Talbert.
Williams said he knows how lucky he is to be alive and he also says, if it wasn’t for his pooch, Sweetie, he probably wouldn’t be here today.
“She stays with me everywhere I go, she’s with me 24/7, I don’t go nowhere without her, we are connected at the hip,” said Williams.
Williams' home was gutted by the fire. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue department said they’ve listed the cause of the fire as “careless smoking.”