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Persistent neighbor helps family escape housefire

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Despite losing half of their home to a morning fire, a Wilmington family is thankful. The Fultons say a neighbor woke them up and alerted them about the fire. Everyone made out safely, but the family says it could have been worse.

While firefighters worked on the fire in the on Yorkshire Lane in the Landsdowne neighborhood, the Fulton family watched. All made it out safely thanks to a neighbor.

“He was either driving by or going to work,” Julian Fulton said of the man who knocked on his door this morning. “He just kept beating on the door until somebody got up.”

Fulton, his wife, two daughters and their dog were asleep when the man knocked on their door around 8:30 a.m. Fulton says his wife had just come home from working the night shift.

“We were all so tired we just didn’t get up,” Fulton said. “The guy kept beating persistently until we all got up, and he said the house was on fire. We really couldn’t tell from where we were in the bedrooms going toward the kitchen and all. He was the guy who basically saved our lives.”

The family made it out of the house quickly grabbing their cell phones and wallets before firefighters arrived minutes later.

“We had heavy fire conditions on the inside of the house with flames coming through the roof,” Wilmington Fire Department Capt. Don Ragavage said. “The first engine company initiated an attack; put the fire out.”

Firefighters saved half of the home, but the fire destroyed the garage and part of the roof. Despite the loss the Fultons thank God everyone made it out ok. They are also thankful for the alert neighbor who first spotted the fire.

“I’d like to tell him thank you,” Fulton said. “I’d like to get to meet him and shake his hand. I’d like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for being a persistent neighbor and really helping us through this time to get us out of the house.”

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

The Red Cross is helping the Fultons for a few days. The family says they will search for the neighbor who saved their lives.

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