On the morning of Feb. 10, a house on the 300 block of Harrison Avenue in Greensburg went up in flames.
Nobody was in the house, but officials believe the fire started in the basement and traveled up and over to the neighboring house where resident Kera Griffin was fast asleep. She got out safely due to the help of a stranger, Gary Demus, who banged on her door repeatedly until she woke up.
Griffin’s father, Ed Underwood, expressed his thankfulness for the good samaritan that made the life-changing decision to alert his daughter.
“I can’t wait to meet this person that knocked on her door,” Ed said. “I really need to meet this person.”
Griffin’s mother, Tina Underwood, was tearful when she recounted the event.
“To know your child is safe and your grandchildren are safe, that’s what matters,” Tina said. “All because of a stranger.”
The firefighters did what they call a “surround and drown” to subdue the fire, where they drench the house in as much water as possible to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring houses.
Nearby neighbor Vonnie Johnson came upon the fire during her everyday walk through the neighborhood.
“I heard a lot of sirens, a lot of noise going on,” Johnson said. “I saw flames, and I knew there was a problem. Almost an hour went by and there was still just as much smoke … I wanted to see how close I could get and make sure my friends were okay.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but everyone is safe and no injuries have been reported.
Although their house has been destroyed, Ed’s top priority is his family.
“That’s okay, we don’t need a house,” Ed said. “We got our daughter. That’s all we need.”