Local News

Good Samaritan Helps Save Fuquay-Varina Woman From Burning Home

Posted January 15, 2003

— A parked car left running next to Fuquay-Varina home caught fire Tuesday night and the flames quickly spread to its elderly owner's house.

Vinny Badhiwala, who owns a convenience store next door, was alerted to the fire by a customer and rushed out to help the 86-year-old woman who lives in the home.

"[The fire] was very fast, getting big. I just walked around and saw the car was on fire and I ran fast and got to her," he said.

Family members said the woman only drives her 1993 Buick Le Sabre once a week. To to keep the battery fresh, she went out and let the engine run for about half an hour, but something went wrong.

"She was pretty shook up when she came out of the house and discovered the car was on fire," said Myrtle Pearce, the woman's daughter.

The woman attempted to go back into her home, but Badhiwala would not let her.

"She tried to go back in. She said 'My water is running, my car's on fire,' but I said, 'No. You can't go, because fire getting big," Badhiwala said.

The store owner takes pride in his effort.

"She was a little nervous, but I'm proud, I saved her. I like to help people, you know," Badhiwala said.

Fire officials said an ignition or electrical problem is likely to blame for the car fire.

Officials said the fire damaged about half the house, including the kitchen and living room.


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