Tuesday, March 28, 2006.
A blind man helped save the life of his nearly-blind elderly neighbor overnight in Montgomery County.
The strength of the fire Monday night seemed monstrous and unforgiving. But an unlikely hero was able to beat it. Jim Sherman, 54, is a blind retired computer programmer with a heart and spirit big as Texas. His neighbor, Ms. Smith, 84, had suffered a stroke recently, so he set up a baby monitor between their homes.
"I can tell if she's had a fall or any other emergency," said Sherman.
As he settled in for the evening, she was checking on newborn kittens in her back bathroom. Then Sherman heard something strange over the monitor.
"Then I heard a sudden abrupt noise or two, and she called out, Jim,'" said Sherman.
With no way to speak with Ms. Smith, he ran out of his house, felt his way along the fence line and found her in her kitchen.
"I grabbed on to Ms. Smith's hand and led her out on to the porch," said Sherman.
The fire ended up destroying her home, but incredibly, neither of them was hurt. Firefighters were even able to save her three kittens.
"We put them on oxygen and warmed them up and stimulated them. They're doing good," said Lori Burley with the Montgomery County Fire Department.
Ms. Smith is also legally blind. Mr. Sherman only moved in next door about six months ago, but he's spent a lot of time with her, making her dinner and checking on her health. That's why he knew the layout of her home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
(Copyright © 2006, KTRK-TV).
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