A Mesa man saved his lifelong neighbor from a blaze that destroyed her home Tuesday.
Battalion Chief Mike Dunn, a Mesa Fire spokesman, said the 3:45 a.m. fire started in the home’s carport and spread to the house, causing an estimated $180,000 in damage. Investigators haven’t determined yet whether it was accidental or arson.
Jonathon Sipes, 20, has lived across the street from Carol Chanley all his life, and said the smell of smoke that was getting sucked into his house through a cooler got his attention and prompted him to look outside.
“I saw my neighbor’s car totally engulfed in flames,” Sipes said.
Sipes said Chanley is an Avon Lady in her 70s who knows everyone on the block and has lived in the house at 2114 W. Second Place for almost 40 years.
Sipes recently suffered a severe sprained ankle, so he hobbled toward the burning house in a walking cast.
He said he felt no danger as the flames quickly spread and he pounded on a window, yelling.
“The only thing running through my mind was ‘I gotta get her out of there,’” he said.
Chanley came to the door worried that she was dressed only in her nightgown and that she would have to leave her purse behind.
“It could have been a different story if not for this guy,” Dunn said.
Sipes said Chanley went to stay with relatives. She could not be reached for comment.