‘Guardian angels’: City workers credited with saving family from house fire

DREXEL, N.C. — Firefighters in Burke County scrambled to get a quick-moving fire under control Wednesday morning.

Officials told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty that city workers spotted the smoke and flames and were able to get a family with two young children out just in time.

The smoke could be seen for miles along North Main Street in Drexel as firefighters from several departments across eastern Burke County worked for more than an hour to bring the fire under control. When Channel 9 arrived, we could see where the fire burned through the roof of the home.

The couple living at the house said they, along with their children, are safe because of the city work crew.

Amber Mathews and her family were inside asleep and had no idea the house was on fire.

“We woke up to banging on the door,” Mathews said. “‘Get out, get out. Your house is on fire.’ They are guardian angels sent from above.”

Officials said a Drexel city work crew that was checking power lines after a windy night spotted the smoke and flames. After getting the family out, they let them stay in their truck to keep warm.

“Coming by and saw the smoke coming out of the gables of the house and went out and beat on the doors to get the guys out of the house,” city worker Johnny Rowe said.

Mathews said she wanted to thank the workers who saved her family and for watching out for someone else.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping your eyes open and watching out for someone else,” Mathews said. “It’s hard in times like these. You’re not always focused on things around you.”

The firefighters who first got to the scene said that it appeared the fire started in the attic and that is where they are focusing their investigation.