Good Samaritan rescues 80-year-old woman from Norfolk house fire Christmas morning

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Posted at 9:31 AM, Dec 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-26 07:11:59-05

NORFOLK, Va. - A good Samaritan rescued an 80-year-old woman from her burning home in Norfolk Christmas morning. According to Norfolk Fire-Rescue, the fire happened in the 800 block of E. 26th Street.

Bystanders told News 3 the good Samaritan saw the fire, ran into the house and woke up the woman.

Michael Willis, the woman's son, said, "I'm just grateful to the stranger that came by, a good Samaritan. This is what Christmas is all about."

The son tells News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones he's grateful his mom is still here.

Fire control was called two hours into the fire response.

"Once I arrived here from Carolina, the neighbors said a stranger came by and was knocking on the door. The next-door neighbor and the stranger helped bring my mother out of the house," said Willis.

According to firefighters, when they got to the scene, they saw that the fire had spread into the walls and into the attic, which made it difficult to fight.

"The neighbor said for the last few weeks it's been a gas odor, and one of the neighbors had written a statement up for the department saying Virginia Natural Gas had been working on the gas lines," said Willis.

An unbreakable bond between neighbor and victim, Gregory Oechser describes the woman as "a nice lady."

Families continue to give love on Christmas Day by coming together to support Willis' mother.

"People has just been coming up to me sending CashApps; people just been driving over across town, there seeing it on Facebook. It's been a lot of support, and we're really grateful for it," said Willis.

For the good Samaritan, Willis said, "We don't know who he is, but I hope he's going to be blessed on the Christmas holiday."

Luckily, no injuries were reported.

We also reached out to Virginia Natural Gas regarding the odors, but have not heard back.

Units from Virginia Beach and Chesapeake assisted with backfill of Norfolk's stations.