BEN CREEK — Josh Wolford was on his way to work on Tuesday morning at approximately 4:40 a.m. when he thought he noticed smoke coming from the home of Janice Spence.
Wolford, who is the fire chief at the Ben Creek Fire Department, backed up and sat near the house for a few minutes to see if what he thought he seen was correct.
“I sat there for a few minutes and then I just seen flames shoot out the side of the building next to her house,” said Wolford. “I went up to her house and was beating on the door and she wouldn’t answer.”
According to Wolford, the building that was on fire was so close to the home that he knew it would catch the home on fire in a matter of minutes.
When Spence did not answer the door, Wolford says he tried to go to Spence’s neighbors but they did not answer either. Wolford attempted again to knock on Spence’s door, finally waking her up.
“She come out of her bedroom and I noticed that it was on the same side of the house as the building that was on fire,” said Wolford.
According to Wolford, he let Spence sit in his truck while he called for the Ben Creek Fire Department to come to the scene.
“She had no idea that it was on fire,” said Wolford. “She was in the bed sleeping.”
Wolford’s wife, Breanna Wolford says that she is so proud of her husband.
“The average Joe would not have noticed that smoke,” said Breanna Wolford. “They would have thought it was fog or morning mist and just drove on but he knew it was something.”
According to Josh Wolford, he even attempted throwing snow on the flames until the fire department arrived to the scene and were able to put out the fire before it reached the home.
Wolford has been on the fire department for approximately 11 years.
“If I wouldn’t have stopped, who knows what would have happened. Looking back on it now, if that building had caught her house on fire, it would have also caught her neighbor’s house on fire as well,” said Wolford.
Wolford says that although he is a member of the fire department and loves what he does, it is all about helping people in times of need.
“It means more to help others than to be on the fire department,” said Wolford. “That is always the main priority. I just want to keep people safe.”
(Madalin Sammons is a reporter for the Gilbert Times. Madalin can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 304-664-8225.)