In the early morning hours of June 30, Jim and Jane Perry's house on West CR 14 caught fire while they and their daughter were sleeping. The fire quickly spread from the garage of the one-story home and into the attic, leaving the fire alarms no chance to sound.
As the fire began to spread into the rest of the home, two passers-by stopped and alerted the family of the fire.
Jim said Cheryl Cartwright and Danny Meyer had been driving by the residence around 2 a.m. when they saw the blaze. They stopped, and while Meyer called 911, Cartwright ran to the residence to knock on the door.
Awoken by Cartwright's knocking, the family was able to safely exit the home.
When firefighters from McCutchenville, NBS and Bascom fire departments arrived to the scene, the house was fully engulfed in flames.
The fire, which originated in a vehicle in the garage, caused approximately $200,000 in damage. Jim said although the family lost a lot of material items in the fire, he is more than thankful his family was able to escape unharmed.
"Our family gathered with us the next morning and we all stood there side by side and stared at the ashes of what used to be our home. Many tears were shed that morning, but it was also mixed with laughter and deep embraces of relief. While we may have lost our house, our cars, our furniture, and every other earthly possession we had, these things pale in comparison to getting the chance to hug our children and our grandchildren again."
An exerpt from a letter written by Jim and Jane Perry
In a letter written to the editor, Jim thanks the pair for their heroic actions.
"We are only here because of two very extraordinary people, Cheryl Cartwright and Danny Meyer. Because while the fire was making its way up our garage and beginning its destructive path throughout home, these two people stopped their car and saved our lives," it states.
"To me, they're heroes," Jim said.
Jim said he isn't sure how his family could repay Cartwright and Meyer for saving their lives, but he knows Cartwright and Meyer were at the right place at the right time.
"We believe that God works in mysterious ways. It's impossible for us to know why we are still alive today while many people who suffer through the same ordeal are not as lucky. All we know is that so many things had to fall perfectly into place for us that night that it's hard to only see coincidence. Cheryl and Danny, there are not adequate words to describe how grateful we are for what you did for us. We owe you our lives and our undying gratitude. Please know that you will be in our prayers always, and that we will never, ever forget what you did," the letter states.