They did what firefighters do best; they extinguished the fire. But in the critical minutes leading up to the arrival of the fire engines, a pair of sisters-in-law had accomplished a rescue of their own.
"We looked and we saw flames coming up out of the back of the house and big black smoke," Damica Braywood said.
Braywood and her sister-in-law, Cyndi, turned their car around on Delaware Avenue in Elkton and sprang into action.
"I ran across the street and began beating on doors telling everybody to get out,” said Cyndi Braywood, “They had no idea the back of the house was on fire. So we got everybody out and here we are. Everybody's out safe."
Tucked behind the Wayfarers' House, flames had already consumed a large out building when members of the Singerly Volunteer Fire Co. attacked the fire and kept it from spreading to the adjoining structure.
"If the wind had been any worse than it was it could have pushed the fire into the house and it could have been whole lot worse," Deputy Fire Chief Michele DeBold said.
The large two-story house serves as a homeless shelter, and thanks to the alert women driving by who banged on their door, a dozen women and children were able to get out of harm's way.
"If it wasn't for them, I don't know what would have happened," said Wayfarers’ Program Director Jennifer DePietro, "I'd hate to have to displace them again because of a fire so it was truly a blessing that the women stopped."
It's a point not lost upon the pair of Good Samaritans who say they were simply in the right place at the right time.
"I feel like it's a blessing we were riding through here today and able to notice it and we turned around. So, yes, it feels pretty good," Cyndi said.
Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office are still trying to determine the source of that fire.