Angela Abrams

Angela Abrams

Angela Abrams, BSN, RN, RNC-LRN

Specialty Care Nursery
Vidant Medical Center - Greenville
Greenville, North Carolina
United States

We were driving along one night at about 11 pm after a co-workers birthday party. There were 3 of us. Felicia driving, Angela was in the front seat and Jenna in the back seat. Felicia noticed that there was a fire on the side of the road, a little ways off the road on the right. After looking closer we noticed that it was a barn. We pulled over and Jenna called 911. The operator stated that "someone else driving by had already called it in and they had dispatched a fire truck." We pulled into the driveway of the barn and when looking even closer we noticed that there was a house to the right of the barn. Fairly close to the barn with just enough room for a dirt driveway in between the barn and house. The house was completely dark; it appeared that no one was home. We decided that it would be a good idea to go up and knock on the door just in case. Felicia pulled her SUV in the yard up to the house to shine her lights on the front door. Angela and Jenna went up to the porch and knocked on the door. There was no answer at the door. They knocked 1 more time and started hearing a commotion on the inside. An older lady approached the door in her pajamas. Angela stated "ma'am your barn is on fire you need to come out of the house in case it gets closer to your house." The lady said "I know I have to put some pants on." They encouraged her to come out of the house and sit with them until the fire truck arrives. She said okay and shut the door and went back inside. Angela and Jenna went back to sit in the car. After a few minutes passed the fire was getting much bigger and spreading across the barn. Angela and Jenna went back inside to check on the lady and help her to get out of the house. They knocked on the door but no answer. Jenna opened the door and with Angela following went into the house. The lady did not answer their calls for her to come out of the house. She was in the back of the house and stated "I can't get my husband up, he has had a stroke and is in the bed." Jenna told her that they would get him out of the house, Angela asked for a wheelchair and the lady had it by the bed.

Upon entering the man's room on the side of the house with the fire, the room was hot, the bed rails were hot, out the large window was nothing but a roaring fire that had engulfed the barn. The man in the bed only pointed his finger out towards the fire, his eyes watery. We explained to him that the barn is on fire and we were there to get him out of the house. Angela and Jenna picked him up and sat him in the wheelchair as best they could, he did not have movement on his right side. They requested blankets to wrap around him because it was freezing outside. His wife brought blankets. After wrapping him up they made their best attempt at getting the wheelchair through the narrow doorway. After coming out of the room Angela asked the lady where his ramp to get out of the house was located. It was through the back door so they wheeled him out the back and down the ramp to the back yard with his wife following.

Out the back of the house you could smell, hear and feel nothing but a blazing fire that was taller than the house. They were able to lower the wheelchair down the ramp and around the backyard at times picking it up over tree stumps and uneven areas. Several times they stopped to readjust the man in the wheelchair because he was starting to slide out. The man and wife were brought to the front yard. By this time the fire trucks were all over the road and front yard.

Back in the car Felicia had been taking pictures and videoing the fire. At one point Felicia stopped videoing because the fire had spread to the tree and power lines connected to the house. The boat sticking out from the barn had flames and she could hear tiny explosions coming from the barn. She tried calling her friends. Jenna's cell phone rang while they were transferring the man to the wheelchair, but there was no time to answer. She went to the front door and started calling for her friends, the firemen arrived and started shouting for them to come out the front door but they could not hear them shouting.

After coming around the front of the house with the man and his wife, Felicia understood why her friends had taken so long to get out of the house.