AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – “I was not going to let them die,” Shannon Harrill said.
Shannon, his wife Jennifer and daughter Jessica Ford were traveling from Greenville, South Carolina to Augusta early Thursday morning.
Their daughter, Lauren, was in labor at Doctors Hospital of Augusta.
Shannon says the baby was due last week, but now believes there was a reason for the delay.
“Divine intervention was exactly what it was,” Shannon said.
He was driving down Martintown Road around 5:30 a.m. when he saw flames shooting from the porch of a house.
James Prater and his wife lived here.
“We were sleeping,” said James Prater. “The smoke alarm went off and that’s when I went downstairs and saw the whole front of the house on fire.”
The couple scrambled out a window and to the roof where they found themselves trapped.
“When we first saw the front porch burning the next thing you know the smoke and the heat was billowing down on us. At one time I couldn’t even see um the smoke was so dark,” Shannon Harrill said.
With just seconds to spare, the Greenville family found a ladder and helped the woman and her husband escape the flames.
“She could barely get down so I grabbed her legs,” Jessica Ford told us. “I was trying to help her down my dad and mom brought the ladder and her husband came down. The black smoke was like billowing.”
The couple was taken to Doctors Hospital.
Our cameras were rolling when the two families met again.
“There’s my savior,” James Prater said.
“How about just a friend. You doing alright?” asked Harrill
There’s not much left of the couple’s home.
Just a pile of charred rubble.
Somehow, in spite of the tragic loss of their home, Prater still managed a grateful smile.
“I’m just glad you found that ladder,” Prater said.
“I found the ladder,” said Jennifer Harrill. “Did you?”, Prater asked “All I know is I saw that ladder coming up and I was happy,” Prater said.
Two lives saved by strangers just driving by.
The good Samaritans from Greenville will certainly have a story to tell their newborn granddaughter.