Local News

Woman who died trying to save grandmother labeled as hero

Posted May 8, 2007
Updated May 7, 2008

— Family and friends Tuesday remembered a Fremont woman as a hero after she rushed back inside her burning house Monday and tried to save her grandmother.

Shannon Minshew and her 77-year-old, bed-ridden grandmother both lost their lives in the fire. Firefighters found Minshew's body in a bedroom, lying on top of her grandmother to protect her from the flames, they said. Mayola Waddell died later at a hospital.

Minshew’s voice can be heard on a Wayne County 911 call-center tape, asking for help.

911 Operator: "911 What is your emergency?"

Minshew: "I've got a fire. … I need some help please!"

911 Operator: "You're at 1884 Memorial Church Road?"

Minshew: "Yes sir, hurry up please!"

911 Operator: "They're on the way, OK? "

Minshew: "OK. Thank You."

Minshew, a mother of two, was always trying to help, friends and family said. Her 13-year-old son, Tyler Hall, said he is proud of what his mother did.

“She was just a good person, a good hearted person,” Tyler said. “She just tried to save her, you know... tried to be a hero.”

Friend and neighbor Lauren Vick had similar feelings.

“She's a hero. … She is a hero. I mean, she gave her life for someone else. That's the most selfless act anyone could ever do,” Vick said. “She wasn’t leaving that house without Mayola, no way.”

Minshew was a certified nurse who lived with her grandmother, friends said. Waddell had many health problems, and Minshew took care of her. Besides her son, she also has a 16-year-old daughter, they said.

Investigators said it appeared the fire was accidental and started in a clothes dryer, then spread very quickly through the older home.


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  • Concerned May 9, 2007

    God Bless this hero/Angel!

  • lilreno is in the wind May 9, 2007

    myveiw, I served 20 years in the military, and I'm thankful you wasnt there. Most people have the concept of team work. There is no I in team. "Together Everyone Acheives More" (TEAM) This woman is a hero and should be applauded. She went above and beyond the call of duty and I salute her. Her family is in my prayers.

  • illegals--GO HOME May 9, 2007

    myview........we could have all done without your view. If that was the case, then all the police officers out there should adopt the same attitude and not defend you and your rights or try to protect you and your family.....because, they too all have families somewhere. So do the military men and women who give of their lives so that you can even put your view in here. If in this situation, you can't say something nice, then it is probably the better foresight to say nothing at all ! ! !

  • illegals--GO HOME May 9, 2007

    To the surviving family members....my heart goes out to you. Your two "angels" are surely looking down on you now from a far better place. There is no more selfless act than to give your life trying to save another's life. There are many who would not do that, this woman is truly special. May the joy you shared with your loved ones carry you through the difficult days. God bless all of you.

  • Love-Me-Or-Hate-Me May 9, 2007

    Please god watch and protect their family and keep them safe from harm. May the mother and daughter rest in peace...Amen

  • Templar May 9, 2007

    There are ANGELS on earth without wings.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc May 9, 2007

    God bless her and her kids and family. I just wish they still had their mom. She's a true hero.

  • GODS LOVE May 9, 2007


  • dianebearden May 8, 2007

    What a sad story to loose two people from the same family. My prayers to the family. Shannon WAS A HERO! God Bless you all

  • snoopygirl May 8, 2007

    It is truly heartwarming to read this story and the ultimate sacrifice that Shannon made for her grandmother. May God bless her two children and the rest of the family and friends who will miss her. We truly do not know how we will react until we are in a given situation - I do not see how anyone can question the decision that she made.