Military veteran saves 2 women from house fire in southern Alabama
By MICHELLE MANN, Dothan Eagle
For Marvin Pinckney, walking into a burning house was “just the instinct to do the right thing”. His quick action resulted in two women being safely evacuated from a house in the Enterprise engulfed in flames.
The retired army command sergeant major is a neighbor of Mary Griffin, whose house in Bellwood Road was consumed by flames on September 3.
Pinckney was in his garage when he saw smoke and flames coming from Griffin’s garage. He ran home and found Griffin and his aide were inside.
“They didn’t know there was a fire at the time,” Pinckney said, adding that his first effort was to get Griffin from his stationary chair to his wheelchair and portable oxygen supply.
As the flames moved from the garage through the house, the electricity in the house went out and smoke filled the rooms, making an exit through the window of the only remaining smoke-free room the only option. Pinckney said. He lifted Griffin out the window into the arms of neighbors who had gathered outside to offer help.
“She was mostly worried about not being able to take her portable oxygen with her,” Pinckney said. “But I assured him the rescue team would have some.”
The women were taken to hospital by Enterprise Rescue Squad.
A family friend, Charlene Goolsby, visited Griffin and said she was recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. She appreciates Pinckney and the neighbors who came to help. “She’s just so grateful to be alive,” Goolsby said.
The retired command sergeant major refuses to be called a hero.
“I have lived in this neighborhood for about a year. They are my neighbours,” he said. “It was just the instinct to do the right thing.”