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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The homeless in our community are often forgotten, their problems many times swept under the rug. However, one Wilmington man went out of his way to save the life of a homeless man Tuesday morning.

“He hollered for help and I went in. I guess it was just instinct to take off,” said Tommy Turner.
Turner’s instinct paid off. While driving to work Tuesday morning, Turner and his daughter Krista saw a fire inside a wooded area next to Britt Motorsports off Market Street. Krista called 9-1-1.

“When we heard the guy screaming for help, I was ready for him to go in because there was somebody back there,” she said.

“I ran into the woods and the fire is really expanding,” said Tommy Turner. “It’s going crazy.”

Turner soon realized the man calling for help was living there. Fortunately the man was the only person inside the homeless encampment. Turner helped him up and walked him to safety.

“I know that my dad’s a great man, but just to see him in action like that was pretty awesome,” he said.

The man then took off and disappeared. For Tommy, saving him hit very close to home.

“I also was homeless at one time,” he said. “By the grace of god I’ve been sober almost four years and to be able to be alive today to be able to come save another person from possibly dying.”

When crews arrived to put out the fire, he says police did not seem to care about the person he just rescued

“I feel like if I was over at Landfall and this same thing would have happened, that they would be like congratulations, thank you so much and all this, but because it was a homeless person they act like it didn’t matter,” he said.

But to Krista, what her dad did was heroic.

“Yea, he’s definitely a hero,” she said.

“I don’t know if I’m a hero,” said Turner. “I just did what I’m supposed to do I guess.”

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10 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Wilmington man saves homeless person from fire"

2015 years 9 months ago

Good for you. You did a selfless act – in front of your daughter. Awesome. Great example. She’s obviously proud.

Sooo, tell me again how the Wilmington Police officers are the bad guys here? The guy scurried off – like a ‘possum. Was someone supposed to arrest him? Send out a search party? Attention all units: Be on the lookout for a smelly guy.

What about the fire department? It took them so long to get there that YOU had to go into the woods? Heck, from the footage, it doesn’t look like it was much of a fire to start with.

You were looking good until you decided to try to make someone else look bad.

Final ruling: FAIL

2015 years 9 months ago

No not this time. That was his home (a big camp) all by himself and was allowed to be there. He just fell asleep with the light on. But this light was a candle. He is a very intelligent guy who happens to be homeless yet he is still human and a very caring person who would have done the same thing for someone else. All homeless people are not crack addicts. Most are veterans, people with mental illness, ones who have been abused by the very ones who they were suppose to be able to trust, alcoholics and yes addicts. And most of the ones I know would save your wife, mother sister and daughter. So lets not stereotype all homeless people, and walk wise and let God lead you when to help and in what capacity. Lets love one another!!

2015 years 9 months ago

This fire stuff Happens everyday behind Britts. Cops are so used to it, and sick of offering them help, I guess. THE Police ARE NOT the problem. The homeless men who live behind Britts are the problem, but now their idenity/location is exposed.

Believe me, I know these individuals. Many have suffered serious burns to their hands,faces, etc. from crack and aerosole cans.

Many groups who outreach to the homeless camps have tried to assist these hardcore homeless men. They WILL accept all the Free stuff that is brought to them, but won’t ACCEPT help, ie.,shelter, safe haven, social service, etc.

These are not typical homeless guys, these are locals who have lived here their entire lives, here in Wilmington, these are the panhandlers and people who harrass/rob/CON your wife, mother, sister, daughter out of a dollar or five or ten. etc.

These guys make btw. $60-100 dollars a day. And it is huffed ALL NIGHT long…YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS—- UP IN SMOKE….and fire.
Folks, it is time to know the difference between being a Christian and just being STUPID as heck. Don’t give them money, it will force them to go to back home to mom and daddys house, who take them back in on cold nights.
They hang at Lowes and Walmart panhandling. One has BOTH parents who work at Walmart while he sits out at the Wendys and harrasses people.
His son must be so proud.

2015 years 9 months ago

Where is the comment I posted early this morning?

2015 years 9 months ago

God bless Mr. Turner and the homeless man; sadly too many people judge others by social status. A human life is irreplaceable regardless if the person is wealthy or poor.

2015 years 9 months ago

The homeless guy probably started the fire

2015 years 9 months ago

is correct. Her Dad is a hero. My guess is he is trying to be the kind of man he hopes she will one day meet and go through life with.

Every Dad should have that aspiration. Be the kind of man you want your daughter to marry; be the type of man you hope your son will grow into.

Good Job Dad.

2015 years 9 months ago

I will thank you for what you did. It was a great thing and you must be a wonderful person. The man ran away so he wouldn’t be charged for setting a fire. I’m sure he thanks you, too. Congratulations on being sober for so long. That in itself speaks volumes about your character.

2015 years 9 months ago

Thank you for caring about the welfare of another human being.

2015 years 9 months ago

I can’t wait to hear how WPD puts a spin on this one….
Which we all know they are going to do… maybe some extra training of the cops like thats really going to help…


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