Hero dies after helping grandsons escape burning Livonia house - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Hero dies after helping grandsons escape burning Livonia house

Posted: Updated:

By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News Reporter


LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) -- "She called up here crying and said, 'My house is on fire.'  I said, 'You mean where my wife Doris is in?'  She said, 'Yes,'"  Alton Wilson explained.

It was at that moment he learned his beloved wife, Doris, helped their two grandsons escape a fast-moving fire, but sadly she couldn't save herself.

The 73-year-old grandmother was staying with her young, teenage grandsons at their Livonia house on Curtis Road while their parents were away on anniversary trip.

"She did a good thing, so I'm glad she did that.  Wish it could've been a different way," said Wilson.

Doris woke up to the flames around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday.  She then quickly woke her grandsons and tried to get them out of the house.

According to the Livonia fire inspector, who says the fire started on the main floor in the dining room near the computer equipment, a neighbor dialed 9-1-1, but before fire crews arrived, we're told one teenager grabbed the fire extinguisher, ran downstairs and tried to put out the flames himself, but they were too powerful.  He escaped out the garage.

The growing blaze trapped the grandmother and her other grandson upstairs.  She helped the teen crawl out of a window and onto the roof, but Doris, who recently had knee surgery and walked around with a cane, couldn't manage to get out.  She was overcome by smoke and died.

"She is a hero, absolutely," said Bryan Chapman.

The close family friend, who grew up with the Wilsons and their three sons, called Doris a second mom.  He went to visit the family at their Redford house still reeling from the news.

"Giving, loving, I mean she never thought of herself ever," he said.  "It didn't surprise me that I'm sure the first thing in her mind and the only thing in her mind was get those grand kids out."

Doris is described as a religious woman who always put others first.  How she lived her life is how she'll be remembered.

"We just had our 50th in June, anniversary, and they celebrated that.  We made it that long, so I'm glad I got her," Wilson said.

When the fire truck arrived, the teen was able to climb down the ladder to safety.  Amazingly, both teens escaped without any injuries.

Crews spent most of the day securing the home.  The fire is still under investigation, but we're told at this point it appears to be accidental.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Clutch Cargo's Returns to Religious Roots

    Monday, April 21 2014 3:11 AM EDT2014-04-21 07:11:55 GMT
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
    Clutch Cargo's, a southeastern Michigan church building that spent several years as a nightclub, reopened as a house of worship on Easter Sunday.
  • Easter Sunday benefit for Steve Utash and crime victims

    Easter Sunday benefit for Steve Utash and crime victims

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:46:19 GMT
    Since his near death beating by a mob, family, friends and total strangers have rallied around Steven Utash. The latest show of support was on Easter Sunday at Bethany Baptist Church in Detroit.
    Since his near death beating by a mob, family, friends and total strangers have rallied around Steven Utash. The latest show of support was on Easter Sunday at Bethany Baptist Church in Detroit.
  • Wanted suspect arrested for high profile crimes

    Wanted suspect arrested for high profile crimes

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:43:01 GMT
    A wanted suspect connected to serious crimes in Metro Detroit is now in custody. Ray Slayton, 47, was arrested Sunday morning at a hotel in Warren on felony drug charges.
    A wanted suspect connected to serious crimes in Metro Detroit is now in custody. Ray Slayton, 47, was arrested Sunday morning at a hotel in Warren on felony drug charges.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices