WINNSBORO, La. (KTVE/KARD) — A Winnsboro woman is thankful to be alive after her house caught on fire. According to a Winnsboro Fire Department Facebook post, on Saturday, April 16, 2022, around 2:11 p.m., the department responded to a structure fire in the 2300 block of West Harper Street.

Multiple Winnsboro Fire Department personnel responded, where they saw heavy smoke coming from the front of the home. According to the firefighters, the home was heavily damaged, but no injuries were reported. Winnsboro Fire Department Fire Chief Jessie Morris reported that three men rescued 67-year-old Amy Mathis, also known as Ms. Lou, from her burning home.

I wanted to take the time to shine a spotlight on three gentlemen that displayed outstanding courage prior to the arrival of our first engine. Pictured below from left to right (Traevon Johnson, Kendarious Moore, and Anthony Johnson) observed smoke coming from the residence. Without hesitation the three men entered the residence and located the elderly resident trying to escape the home. They were able to get her to safety without incident. I wanted to give them special thanks for saving her from serious injury and almost certain death. It takes a lot for an everyday citizen to put themselves in harms way for their neighbor, and these guys were most certainly where God needed them to be. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend. I feel this is the very meaning of the verse written in John 15:13. Again thank you to these three men and the men and women of Winnsboro Fire for the solid work today.

Winnsboro Fire Department Fire Chief Jessie Morris wrote on Facebook
Three Winnsboro men who rescued resident from house fire, photo courtesy of Winnsboro Fire Department Facebook

“That doesn’t happen very often,” Chief Morris told KTVE/KARD, about the rescue. “That is something that is rare today for three men to take it upon themselves to put themselves in that kind of harm to get somebody out of a house. That’s something that’s very commendable.”

Chief Morris said that the Bible verse John 15:13 is the epitome of what the rescue meant.

“It meant a lot to us. A lot of my guys thought it was great and I was the same way,” Chief Morris said. “They did a really, really good job.”

One of the rescuers was Anthony Johnson. According to Johnson, himself, his brother Traveon, and their friend Kendarious Moore were driving down the street when Johnson noticed smoke coming from Ms. Lou’s house.

“Something was on fire, and then I just told bro to stop the truck,” Johnson said. “He got out went to the house and opened the door and lots of heavy smoke came out.”

The men then asked if anyone was inside and then Ms. Lou responded.

According to Johnson, “‘Ms. Lou was like yeah baby I’m in here’ and she was coughing.” Johnson said that when he entered the home it was hard to see, but they were able to find her and help her out the house.

“It made me feel good. Everybody needs help. That moment right there, that’s just a dangerous situation,” Johnson said. “God just had us at the right place at the right time.”

According to Mathis, she was in bed watching TV when she smelled smoke.

“I looked up and smoke was coming out the vent, and by that time three young fellows was coming over there hollering, ‘Ms. Lou, your house on fire’ and I was just coming down the hall and they come and got me out of there,” Mathis said. “It felt good. Thank you Lord was the first thing I said.”

According to Chief Morris, the fire started in the kitchen and the cause is undetermined.

Amy Mathis’ home, photo courtesy of Winnsboro Fire Department Facebook

“I thank them. One of them was like a real fire fighter he got down low and was crawling,” Mathis said. “I appreciate the young fellows. I just wish now that I can find me somewhere to stay.”