Good Samaritan wants to make good on a promise


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Updated: 12/04/2012 9:13 am Published: 12/03/2012 10:31 pm


Heroic rescues were made during a holiday winter wonderland.

One moment families were lining the streets in Muskogee for the Garden of Lights in Honor Heights Park and the next minute the twinkle turned into a ball of fire.

Emergency crews report a woman in her 60s, who was disabled, received first-degree burns. She was transported to the hospital. Another woman in her 90s and two children ages 10 and twelve were also in the burning car. All involved are home and expected to be okay.

Muskogee firefighters are investigating how the car caught fire with a Henryetta family inside.

A Good Samaritan said as he and his family were driving through the Garden of Lights, one of his children started screaming about a fire behind them.

"Their car is on fire, their car is on fire, their car is on fire," said Darren Thomas.

That’s when Thomas said he popped his head out of the truck and saw a yellow glow. He jumped out of his truck and dove into the flames.  

"She was grabbing the seat trying to pull herself across the seat. She was saying 'help me, I can't breathe’, then there was a lot of smoke," said Thomas.

He said she couldn’t move and thought she was handicapped. A family friend of the victims told FOX23 News her name is Lucy Alford of Henryetta.

"She could not get out of the car and she couldn't move her legs,” said Thomas. “I paused for a second and said I'm going get her."

As he went to pull her out he said a tire popped from the fire. The chaotic scene grew larger and so did the help. Another man helped Thomas rescue the woman in her 60s.

"If you get one leg, I'll get the other and let's carry her to safety," said Thomas.

Once he put her down in a truck where it was more comfortable, Thomas said he couldn’t forget what the woman said.

“’My shoes, my shoes, where are my shoes?’” Thomas told her, “Ma'am don't worry about your shoes I'll buy you a pair of shoes, it fell off in the car."

Others ran to the car to help a 93-year-old woman and a driver who jumped out the car. Two kids were also in the car and safely escaped. The kids were upset about a Nintendo and their jackets that were left in the car and damaged in the fire.

FOX23 News talked to the children’s mother who was in another car ahead of them and said the children are traumatized by the event but glad everyone is okay.

"Everything is replaceable lives are not," said Thomas.

At the Garden of Lights the road is narrow is it would be tough to escape unless at the end of the park.

"A good thing a lot of people were around," said Thomas.

Two days later, Thomas can’t forget the promise he made to the woman.

"I need to buy her shoes. I told her I would buy her shoes," said Thomas.

He doesn’t want the limelight but he is man of his word.

"I am no hero I just said I would buy her a pair of a shoes," said Thomas.

Another woman who is a freelance writer for Yahoo, Tavia Fuller Armstrong, witnessed the event and notice the fire started under the car. She describes the traumatic event in a Yahoo article and is glad everyone is okay. She describes the men who helped rescue the families as heroes.

FOX23 News is working to reunite Thomas and Alford and will update you on new developments.

Meantime, the Muskogee Fire Chief said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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