Shannetta Stone arrived on the job Monday morning, her second day as caretaker for a 100-year-old woman, to confront imminent danger and then summon the help of a hero.
Stone said it was 8:07 when she drove up and found the small house at 109 Palmer Drive, in the Chestnut Knob area of Horsepasture, fully engulfed in thick, black smoke.
She said she didn’t see her employer, Susan Dandridge, an Alzheimer’s patient, and she said she didn’t know how bad the fire really was until she tried to get into the house to check on Dandridge.
“I tried to get in, but I couldn’t see, and I was choking,” Stone said. “So I ran around the side of the house to see if I could get in that way.
“I was on her the phone with her son, and he said, ‘Take off your shirt and put it over your mouth and try to crawl in.’ I couldn’t do that. If I took off my shirt, I’d be naked.