Granville firefighter saves brothers from burning house
Posted January 4, 2012
Updated January 6, 2012
Oxford, N.C. — A Granville County firefighter was on his way to work just before 6 a.m. Wednesday when he saw smoke coming from a home and saved two brothers inside the burning house, according to county emergency officials.
Lt. Chris Brogden, with the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department, stopped at 4698 U.S. Highway 15, called 911 and ran around the house.
"There was a lot of smoke coming from the eaves of the house, all around the house," Brogden said.
Neighbor Wanda Elkerson said she heard her dog, Champ, barking, so she came outside and told Brogden where the two men were sleeping. He then got a piece of firewood, broke a bedroom window and pulled Isaac Skipwith to safety.
"Everything was black and smoky. The guy bust the windows open," Skipwith said. "He said, 'The house is on fire! The house is on fire! Come this way! Come this way!'"
Skipwith says the firefighter grabbed him and pulled him out of the window.
Brogden then banged on the window of the other brother, O’Mark McCaden, who was able to escape on his own.
"Once I got to the front door, there was no going back in. It was only by the grace of God that I'm still here now – the grace of God and these folks," McCaden said.
"The house just, woof, up in smoke. So he got us just in time," Skipwith added. "I would be dead. That man really saved our life. He really did. I love him for that."
The owner of the house, Frances Winston, says there were three smoke detectors inside, but he didn't know if they had batteries. The brothers say the alarms didn't go off.
The brothers, who lived in the house for two and a half years, say they lost everything and are getting help from family members and the Red Cross.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters from the Providence, Corinth and Oxford fire departments responded and got the fire under control within 20 minutes.
Brogden, who has been with the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department for 12 years, is also credited with saving a person who was stuck on top of a car in a rushing creek during hurricane flooding.