Coldwater good Samaritans honored for saving woman in house fire

COLDWATER, Miss. -- Coldwater and Tate County officials honored three people Thursday night who helped save a paralyzed woman from a burning home.

Tracy Blackburn remembered the night two weeks ago; he'd just left work.

"Some lady ran to the door screaming, ‘Help, help!’”

He said he saw the flames coming out of a home about one block from the barbershop.

The woman, Melani Ellis, told him someone was trapped inside. Blackburn ran in to help.

“I asked if she could move. She said, ‘No I can’t move. I’m paralyzed.’ So made her sit up. I couldn’t pick her up," Blackburn said.

He asked Ellis to run to get his co-worker back at the barbershop.

“Lady came to the door and told me the house was on fire," Anthony Davis said.

Davis ran over and together with Blackburn they got the paralyzed woman out.

"We carried her down five or six stairs. She was dead weight. By the grace of god we got her out,"

The home is directly in front of the fire department and next to the Coldwater Police Department, yet the Good Samaritans all got there before first responders.

“We do the best we can. We're just a volunteer department," said Coldwater Volunteer Fire Chief Jerry Cobb. "If we were paid it would be a different thing."

The department and Tate County officials honored Blackburn, Davis and Ellis Thursday night.

“When I found out what they did I told them they my hero, because they saved that lady’s life," Cobbs said.

But the Good Samaritans say they aren’t heroes, they’re just doing what they’d hope someone else would do for them.

"Every body needs a little bit of help whether they show it or not. Never be afraid to just jump out there and help," Ellis said.

Family members identified the rescued woman as Beatrice Milam, 86. They said she's now living in a nursing home with full-time care.