Neighbors, passerby help rescue elderly couple from Saginaw hous - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Neighbors, passerby help rescue elderly couple from Saginaw house fire

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (04/30/14) - A group of good neighbors and a passerby helped rescue three people from their burning home, Tuesday night.

An elderly couple and their son were in the house and didn't realize the garage part of the home was on fire.

It was about 7 p.m. when that fire started at the home at the corner of King and Perry on the westside of Saginaw.

Neighbors saw the smoke and ran over before fire crews arrived.

"Lot of smoke, lot more smoke than normal," said neighbor Don Smith.

That's what Don saw from his house, just a block away. While Don and others saw smoke, the family inside was not aware there was trouble in the garage and back part of the house - which holds rabbits, ducks and chicken coops.

John Tuzas is 85, and a Korean War veteran. He says a man driving by, stopped, then came up to the house to tell him it was fire.

John's son Matt is thankful the man stopped.

"When I came down stairs, he was at the front door," he said. "Then he just walked in, which was fine with me."

Don knows the man who alerted the family.

"He says 'I got 911 on the phone too,' I said 'Good, you talk to them, I'm going to get the people out of the house,'" he said.

Don and his wife Dawn took on the task of getting 84-year-old Kathryn Tuzas out of danger. She has just come home from the hospital.

"She had just gotten out yesterday also, and then comes home, and not one of them smelled the smoke, or anything and I just told her, 'The house is on fire and you need to get out,'" Dawn said.

"I asked her four times to come out, she says, 'I can't go nowhere,'" Don said. 

"I wasn't going to get out of the house," Kathryn said. "They just grabbed me by my feet, one behind me, and they pulled me right out the door."

While the Smith's got Kathryn out, John and Matt also made their escape.

While the dogs and some chickens survived, a number of rabbits, ducks and chickens were killed.

The Tuzas' had just purchased a home in Shepherd and will begin moving there soon. They are grateful that people cared for their safety.

Don says that's what neighbors do.

"When somebody is in trouble, we come running," he said.

The fire marshal is investigating to determine what caused the fire.
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