An elderly man was rescued from a burning house last month.

An elderly man was rescued from a burning house last month.

The rescue was Feb. 16 on Second Street in New Llano, just before 6 a.m. The story came out Tuesday evening during the New Llano City Council meeting.

Fire Chief T. Kevin Yates stood at the lectern told the story while presenting the monthly fire department report. It sounded like a scene from an action movie with a happy ending.

The morning of the fire, Susan Hamby happened to be driving down Third Street.

“She saw the fire, ran up and beat on the back door of the police department, and screamed, ‘Fire! Fire!’ said Yates.

Officer Jamie Moore had just come in off patrol. He knew that James White, 81, lived there alone, Yates said.

Yates said Moore looked out the window, saw the fire and rushed over there while the dispatcher contacted the fire department.

The fire department was summoned, but in the meantime, Moore went to see what he could do to help. “He made one attempt to enter the building and was pushed back by flame. He came out, heard calls for help and went back in, completely unprotected, with no gear,” said Yates.

Moore retrieved White from the burning building.

“He’s very independent; he likes to do things himself,” Yates said White.

Mayor Freddie Boswell thanked Hamby for reporting the fire so quickly. Boswell also thanked Moore for having the courage to risk his own well-being in a selfless act to help another person.

Just before the fire occurred, Tamera Gibson was on her way to take White to an appointment for eye surgery that morning.

“He was already in the ambulance when I got there; shaking and confused,” she said.

Gibson came to be a companion and caretaker for White when she began visiting him in the hospital back in November.

“I would go in and check on him. They released him the day before Thanksgiving. He doesn’t have anybody,” she said. So, Gibson picked him up from the hospital, and he joined her family for Thanksgiving dinner the following day.

Since the fire, White has been staying with Gibson and her husband, Gary, at their home.

“He will be moving to a senior home temporarily pretty soon,” she said.

The the fire was accidental. Yates said the cause was a stack of papers near a gas heater with an open flame. The house is salvageable, with an 25 percent damage assessment.

The fire department responded to the call immediately, and was en route to the burning building in one minute, 37 seconds. The entire time, from being notified to stopping the fire took a total of six minutes, Yates said.