Neighbors: Deaf man saves woman from burning apartment

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by Kevin Peters, Ron Trevino / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 11 at 7:18 PM

PASADENA, Texas— A deaf neighbor saved a woman from a burning apartment at about 6:30 a.m. Monday in the 1100 block of Red Bluff.

Residents of the complex said one of the buildings caught fire, and it spread quickly.

A woman was trying to escape her apartment when the flames blocked the stairs and she became trapped on a second-story balcony.

That’s when neighbors said Darell McCollough, a deaf man who lives across the parking lot from the burning building, sprung into action.

McCollough jumped in his white Jeep and drove it over to the flaming structure, stopping just under the balcony.

He urged the woman, Lorenda Flanagan, to jump over the railing.

"He kept screaming at her, telling her to come over, come over the side. The lady finally got up on the railing and actually jumped off onto his hood and when she hit the hood she slipped and fell down to the concrete," neighbor Stanley Dowlearn said.

Flanagan was not hurt.

"I’ll thank him every day, every day I’ll wake up I’ll thank him,“ she said. “I’ll pray for him every day I wake up."

Neighbors described McCollough as the kind of man who would give you the shirt off his back and said he always has a Bible on the dash of his SUV.

"He's very religious, and he'll help anybody he can,” Mike Montgomery said.  “He's a very good person."

There was no official word on the cause of this fire, but investigators speculated that it may have started on top of a stove kept on overnight by someone trying to stay warm.

Through an interpreter, McCollough told 11 News that he was just thankful that everyone was OK.

"Thank Jesus for saving those people," McCollough said in sign language. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

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