Flames were pouring out of every window, door, and were even coming through the roof of a cabin on Salmon Point Road in Oyster River when firefighters arrived around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Moments earlier, people staying at the Salmon Point Resort across the road say they heard three explosions.
“The first one was the largest that made us all come out of our RV’s and look around and then you heard the next two explosions and then all of a sudden there was the fire,” said Sandy Hassman.
That’s when Doreen Stobbe was alerted to the fire as well. Stobbe, who lives in a house on the same property, immediately ran outside knowing her son was in the burning cabin.
“I ran around the cabin, I couldn’t get in because the door was locked,” said Stobbe. “I was banging on the windows and hollering for my son to get out but he didn’t wake up.”
That’s when two heroes show up — Doreen’s grandson and another man staying at her B&B.
The two went to one side of the cabin, which had a window with a narrow opening, where they saw the 49-year-old man trying to squeeze his way out. However, the opening was too small for him to escape, prompting the two other men to break it apart to pull him out to safety.
“The fire was literally licking his heels,” recalled Stobbe. “So, they just reached in grabbed his arms and pulled him out.”
Oyster River firefighters were on the scene within minutes.
“One of our first priorities was to get our First Responders to go treat the patient,” said Oyster River Fire Chief Bruce Green. “But it was very fortunate for the occupant that the other two people were there to help him get out. It could have ended much differently.”
“They were here like five minutes after it all started,” added Hassman. “It was contained so quickly. I’ve never seen fire rescue that quick.”
The victim suffered 2nd-degree burns and smoke inhalation.
Green says the cabin didn’t have a smoke detector which would have provided much more warning for the occupant.
The victim remains in hospital but is expected to survive.
“Gratitude, gratitude that he is still with us and that there were people here to help with that because I wouldn’t have been able to pull him out myself,” said Stobbe.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
.?@OysterRiverFire? says witnesses pulled a man out of a window to escape this burning home in Salmon Point last night or he likely wouldn’t have survived. Details tonight ?@CHEK_News? pic.twitter.com/jHkWwrCcq2
— Dean Stoltz (@deanstoltzchek) February 7, 2021