Trash crew helps save elderly couple from house fire

File Photo | Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office

When Assistant Henry Lawrence and his trash collection crew, comprised of inmates from the Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center, were taking care of Goodwill Road on Wednesday morning, they discovered that the attic of a SJ & Jenny Jones house had caught fire.

According to Jason Parker, Sheriff of Webster Parish, Deputy Lawrence and his crew went above and beyond to help not only get the elderly couple out of their home safely, but also helped retrieve Jones’ furniture, valuables and other belongings with it they will not be damaged by fire.

“We usually have inmates who are in line with the proper guidelines to ride with this garbage crew, and they keep our streets picked up and clean of garbage. They were on Goodwill Road this morning picking up trash, doing their normal chores and watching a house on fire in the attic, ”said Parker.

“The MP went and knocked on the front door and was able to take the residents to the door and tell them that their house was on fire.”

Fire chief Kip Mourad said the fire started from the chimney, where the radiant heat caused a piece of wood or other combustible material to catch fire.

He also commented on the selfless actions of the garbage crew, saying, “That was great that they happened to be there, they saw it and ran up there and took them out of the house.”

After they got the fire under control and the house could be safely entered, the chief explained that the crew must go to work without hesitation to get the Jones property out of the house.

“They came in to get furniture, books, and anything personal that we could get out,” said Chief Mourad. “They jumped in right away and did a great job of helping us.”

Jayda Spillers, the homeowner’s daughter, spoke to the Minden Press-Herald to share her perspective on what happened.

Spillers stated that she passed the occupation when she left her parents’ home early that morning. She later returned after learning that it caught fire.

“When I got to my parents’ house when I heard there was a fire, he stayed with the crew and they had helped us tremendously in getting things out of the house. The inmates couldn’t have been friendlier, ”said Spillers.

“(Lawrence) told me that morning that he had planned to go elsewhere but that something told him to go to Goodwill Road. They happened to be pausing outside my parents’ house and one of the inmates looked over and said, I think the house is on fire. “

Spillers thanked God for placing the crew where they were on Wednesday and said they were in the right place at the right time. “I think the hand of God put Deputy Lawrence on this street in that particular place to look after her. So thank Jesus for that and thanks to Deputy Lawrence and his team for the help, ”Spillers said.

“I think they were wonderful heroes today. They were exactly where God needed them to take care of my parents. They didn’t let them do anything, they helped them and made sure they were okay and that was greatly appreciated. I hope they realize that Deputy Lawrence and his crew go way beyond staying and helping. “

Sheriff Parker personally thanked the inmates who had helped Thursday morning and said he planned to acknowledge the deputy and crew for their altruism at a later date.

“Each of my proxies, from corrections to administration, from civil to criminal, we are all sworn to protect and serve the citizens of this community, and that’s just one good example of what has been done today,” said Parker .

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