Newspaper delivery boy rescued woman from fatal fire on Pawleys Island

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A 70-year-old couple were killed in a house fire on Windy Lane in Pawleys Island on Thursday morning. The couple’s daughter escaped the fire with the help of a passing newspaper delivery boy, authorities said. A joint investigation between Midway Fire Rescue, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is underway. January 6, 2022.

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Paul Diaz was delivering newspapers when a red glow across the street caught his eye.

It was just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday and Diaz was dropping off copies of the Coastal Observer at the Litchfield restaurant when he thought the nearby church graveyard was on fire, so he called 911.

He ran across the street so he could describe the scene to an emergency dispatcher when he realized the fire was coming from a two-story house just behind the stone wall of the cemetery.

Diaz saw a woman standing on a balcony of the burning house on Windy Lane. She was holding a small poodle in her arms.

“I asked her to come down and she said she couldn’t because the flames were at the bottom of the stairs.” If she had tried to jump, “she would have hurt herself and probably myself,” he said.

Diaz asked her to go down the steps as far as she could.

“I asked her to meet me halfway and I grabbed her and pulled her off the steps,” he said.

By the time the woman and the dog were brought to safety, the flames “took over” the rest of the stairs.

It was then that the woman told Diaz that her parents were still inside the house. He said he had run to the back of the house to see if he could get in, but it was too late.

“By then the flames were all in the open. “

The woman’s parents were killed in the blaze, Midway Fire Rescue spokesperson Mark Nugent said. They were 70 years old and had lived at Pawleys Island on Windy Lane for about five years, according to neighbors.

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A 70-year-old couple were killed in a house fire on Windy Lane in Pawleys Island on Thursday morning. The couple’s daughter escaped the fire with the help of a passing newspaper delivery boy, authorities said. A joint investigation between Midway Fire Rescue, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is underway. January 6, 2022. Jason Lee [email protected]

“I just wanted to help the lady. There was a fire. You don’t just walk by and sit there and film that damn thing and watch it. You find out if there’s anyone in it, ”Diaz said.

“I just felt a little warmth on my face,” Diaz said. The incident “pissed him off” for his second job in construction, where he spent his afternoon.

“You have to help each other,” he said.

Neighbors and public records have indicated that Herman and Sherry Pauley lived at the blaze residence and are deceased. The Georgetown County Coroner’s Office said it could be weeks or months before a positive identification is made.

“They were good neighbors”

By the time Midway Fire Rescue arrived at the scene, the flames had spread to a second house.

The house is owned by Quinn and Diane Parker, who live most of the time in Raleigh, NC and keep “nothing of value” in their second home on Pawleys Island.

Quinn Parker works in the area and usually stays on Pawleys Island on weekdays. Snow in Raleigh on Monday prevented him from driving south this week.

The Parkers called the Pauleys “very good friends” and neighbors.

“I always said [Herman Pauley], we have lived in our home in Raleigh for 22 years. We have never been to our neighbors’ houses. . . and they’ve never been to our house, ”said Quinn Parker.

“To find something like that, to find people that you’re connected with is special,” he said.

Midway Fire Department Chief Mark Nugent said the house’s smoke detectors were activated.

“(The couple’s daughter) said the smoke detector went off and her father was knocking on the door,” Nugent said. “Everything worked as expected. “

More than eight hours after the fire, the scene remained cordoned off with police tape at several homes on the site.

The state law enforcement division (SLED) was investigating the site, which Nugent said was normal protocol for a fatal fire.

Nugent said at this point he had “no reason to believe it was suspicious”, although the matter is still under investigation by SLED.

Jenna Taha Farhat is a reporter from Wichita, Kansas, who covers the latest news in Myrtle Beach and Horry County. She speaks Arabic.

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