A woman who lost everything in a devastating fire is thanking a stranger for saving her and her family's life.
McAlaster Fire Department Chief Brett Brewer says crews got the call about a building on fire located on the 300 block of South Main Street around 5:00 p.m on Thursday.
The fire devastated the building which was home to seven families and a baby clothes and supplies store.
However, four of the tenants were rescued by strangers who risked their lives to save them.
One of those tenants was Mary Blevins. She lived in unit three with her son and husband.
"We moved here because my father died and I needed to be closer to my mom," Blevins said.
Blevins had been childhood friends with the buildings owner, Paula Cormier. The building was built in the 1920s and owned by the Cornmier family the past 60 years.
"She gave us a place to stay," Blevins said.
On Thursday night, that home was destroyed but Blevins still says she's lucky.
"It was a blessing we got out with out dying because I thought we were dying last night,” Blevins said.
On Thursday night, Blevins and her son were at home when she said they heard a loud 'bang' on the door.
"We got up to see what it was," Blevins said.
But when and her son opened the front door, they were met with roaring fire.
"It was flames, just big ole flames and then black smoke rolled in," Blevins said. "It was just so much smoke, and it was so hot."
With no where to go, Blevins and her son ran back inside their apartment to the bathroom window.
“I stuck my head out there and was just screaming for some one to help us and that we were on fire. So, please...help us," Blevins said.
Blevins remembers it was then that she started to pray. She says her prayers were answered when an angel drove by.
That angel was Mekio Buckley.
“I was just driving by but I stopped before I got up to the building, then I saw people standing in the window yelling for help," Buckley said. "No one was around so I drove over"
Buckley then drove over to the burning building and parked under the window Blevins and her son were yelling out of.
Blevins' son went out first the window fist, but Blevin's was stuck inside.
"I couldn't get out of the window because I am handicapped," Blevins said. “Then the smoke was so thick, and I couldn’t even see out the window."
So, despite the flames, 58-year-old Buckley decided to climb up the side of the building to help Blevins down.
“I said, well back up in the window and I’m going to climb up," Buckley said. "The police officer boosted me up and I grabbed a hold of the windowsill and pulled myself up and into the window."
“If that man hadn’t have crawled up to help me, I would have died in that fire," Blevins said.
Once in the burning apartment building, Buckley helped Blevins out of the window.
“Once I got in there, I had to get out of there and I wasn’t leaving without her," Buckley said. “I pushed her out the window and held on to get legs and lowered her down.”
Less than 15 minutes after that rescue, that bathroom window was spitting out flames.
"He helped save our lives or we would be dead," Blevins said. "This man is a hero, a true hero."
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