Newspaper carrier helps save woman from house fire

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News


When Deborah Sherard met with Mari Schlegel Wednesday afternoon, the two had a lot to talk about. Just after 5 a.m., Schlegel had seen flames outside Sherard’s home. She says she’d forgotten a house on her regular paper route, and turned back at the last minute.

"Luckily I did because…I saw some kind of flame coming up; I was like, is that really a fire flame?" Schlegel said. 

Sherard’s house, near 64th and Benton, had flames shooting up the back wall.

"So I banged on the ladies door and I’m like, ‘you got a fire in the back of the house; you need to get out,’" she said

Sherard came to the door, still half asleep, carrying two dogs under one arm, and trying to get the rest of her pets out. All three dogs, and a cat, made it out safely with Sherard, who was the only one in the house at the time.

"Had she not alerted us, it could have been worse," said Skyler Sherard, Deborah’s son "She could have slept through it if she hadn’t woken up right away, and with this house being old, about 100 years old, it could have gone up in flames to the point they couldn’t have stopped it."

This isn’t the first time Schlegel’s helped someone while on her early morning route. One winter she saw a child wandering around without shoes or a coat. She was able to get him warm, and call police for help.

"I’m more alert now that I’ve gone through this," she said.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue is still trying to figure out what started the fire. It caused about $20,000 in damage.

Lincoln Fire & Rescue were called to a fire early this morning in northeast Lincoln.

Crews responded to the backside of a home near 64th and Benton just after 5 a.m. this morning.

A newspaper carrier noticed the fire and call 911.  She also knocked on the door to get the owner out of the home.

One person and 4 pets made it out safely from the structure. No injuries were reported.

LFR reports minor damage to the home.

The amount of damage and cost have not yet been determined at this time.