One for the books: Novelist runs into fiery home for laptop

Posted September 15
Updated September 16

Writer and actor Gideon Hodge runs towards his burning home in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Hodge then rushed into the structure – past firefighters yelling at him to stop – to grab his laptop, which he said had two completed novels on it. (Matthew Hinton/The Advocate via AP)

— Avoiding a nasty real-life plot twist, a writer dashed past firefighters into a burning New Orleans house Thursday to rescue two completed novels stored on his laptop.

"Anybody that's ever created art, there's no replacing that," Gideon Hodge, 35, told The New Orleans Advocate ( after safely making it out of the burning building with the computer. "It's got pretty much my life's work."

Hodge describes himself as a playwright, novelist and actor.

The fire in New Orleans' Broadmoor neighborhood had spread to the house where Hodge lived from an empty, single-family house next door, where firefighters believe it started. Dozens of firefighters battled the stubborn three-alarm blaze for hours. A huge column of black smoke was visible for miles.

No injuries were reported. Occupants of the second house escaped safely.

Edderin Williams, 38, had enough time to grab his wallet and keys before rushing out of his apartment, one of four in the building, but was not able to save anything more. He does not have renter's insurance.

"I just don't know how I feel right now," Williams said. "I'm just gonna have to pick up the pieces and move on."

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  • Chris VanderHaven Sep 16, 9:19 a.m.
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    As a writer myself, I can't blame him. I'd probably do the same thing.