Pregnant woman, child escape intense house fire in Aurora area early Tuesday morning, neighbors say

'Flames 30 feet tall,' witnesses said


A pregnant woman and her child 3-year-old daughter escaped an intense house fire in the Aurora area early Tuesday morning, neighbors tell 7News.

Flames had completely taken over the two-story house near East Hampden Avenue and South Himalaya Street when 7News Reporter Tyler Lopez got there at 2:30 a.m.  Lopez arrived at the same time as the first fire engine.

Tracie McKnight and her daughter were apparently saved by the quick actions of a neighbor, Elbert County deputy Joel Heap.  He knocked on the door when he saw the flames, and went inside to help make sure McKnight got out safely.

"It was just such a blessing to have him come get me and get me to safety," McKnight said.

Heap went to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but the Chief of Cunningham Fire said he will be okay.

McKnight was checked at a hospital as a precaution because she is pregnant.

A UPS driver, Eric Valero, saw the flames and stopped and took some video, and knocked on a neighbor's door to make sure they were also out safely.

Fire crews tell 7News this fire started in the garage. There was a car inside, but it didn't explode.

No firefighters were hurt.

McKnight said even though her home was destroyed she's grateful to have just walked away from the experience. She also said she can't thank Heap enough for his bravery.

"I didn't hear it at all," she said. "I could only imagine if he wasn't there how long it would've taken for me to wake up or for the smoke alarms to go off and how the fire would have been at that point."

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