BALTIMORE, Md. -
As fire spread through the second story of the duplex on Dulany Street, Bobby Wisner risked his own life in an attempt to save those of his elderly neighbors.
"I went upstairs to try to get Mr. Earl, but by the time I got to right where the bottom of the steps was, the smoke was just so thick it was burning my lungs and my eyes to where I couldn't see anything and I couldn't breathe."
62-year old Earl Drayton would perish in the fire, but fortunately, Wisner reached Rosemary Bruns in time.
"It just doesn't seem real. It doesn't seem like it even happened," said Bruns who was Drayton's lifetime friend and caregiver, "I heard screaming out on the street and I was startled cause I sleep downstairs in the living room on the sofa, and I heard somebody scream, 'Miss Rose. Miss Rose. Your house is on fire!' and I started screaming for Earl to come down, come down, get out of the house and Bobby, next door, came in (and) kicked the door in to get me out. If it hadn't been for Bobby, I would have died too. He was a hero... my hero."
The fire gutted the duplex forcing Bruns and two neighbors from their homes, but now with a lifetime of possessions piled in the front yard, the longtime caregiver reflects on the one thing she can't replace---a decades-old friendship.
"He was jovial and he tried to do good for everybody,” said Bruns, “He tried to help people out even though he had a lot of problems himself. He was a very good person."
Neighbors reported seeing flames shooting out of the victim's window air conditioning unit, but the actual cause of the fire is still under investigation.