Pender High students called heroes after saving couple from burning home

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Submitted: Wed, 05/08/2013 - 3:04am
Updated: Wed, 05/08/2013 - 2:40pm

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Firefighters were not the first ones on the scene of a house fire Sunday morning near Burgaw. Two Pender High School students were. Now they’re being called heroes for saving an elderly couple inside.

“Even now it’s hard to believe it actually did happen,” Charles Peel, one of the rescuers, said. “It just kind of seems like it was a dream. It just happened. We didn’t do it for anything. We just went over there and we’re just glad they’re alright.”

When a fire started in James and Shirley Parker’s home Sunday morning, it caught the attention of two boys down the street. Peel and Daniel Brigman were walking their dog when they saw the fire.

They say it was hard to see or breathe, but all they could think about was getting the Parkers out safely.

“He grabbed Mrs. Parker and carried her out the front door, and I grabbed Mr. Parker and carried him out the side door. We picked them up and set them down outside,” Brigman said.

The elderly couple’s grandson says if it weren’t for these two boys, his grandparents wouldn’t have been OK.

After carrying the Parkers out, the boys even went back in to get Mrs. Parker’s oxygen tank, because she could not breathe.

“It was very dark. The smoke was very thick. You couldn’t see anything,” Brigman said. “It was basically a feel around. We were duck walking through the house. We went to the back room, still couldn’t see anything and we looked for the oxygen tank with our hands and we found it.”

The Parkers’ grandson says no one was hurt, but Shirley Parker is still at the hospital from inhaling too much smoke.

Peel and Brigman say they would not hesitate to do it again. They say if it was not for their JROTC class at Pender High School, they would not have been as prepared as they were.


  • SurfCityTom says:

    either one of these 2 young men.

    But, from their appearance, I would bet there is strong parental involvement in their lives.

    Parental involvement does make a big difference in how youngsters grow and mature.

  • Austin Stone says:

    i am so pround of you daniel and charlie! daniel brigman is my older brother and i couldnt have a better role model. im in JROTC as well and i couldnt believe my ears when i heard what happened. i love you daniel and hope to see you soon. by the way, this is exactly what JROTC is talking about in their mission statement/ motto: “Helping young people to become better citizens”

  • Vog46 says:

    Not only did they go in to rescue two older people
    They returned to get the ladies oxygen tank to assist her breathing

    Nicely done men, nicely done……


  • Susan Robinson says:

    Daniel, I am very proud of you. I am only a step-mom and was only in your life 5 years yet I am still proud to know you and be part of your raising. Love, step mom, Susan Robinson-Brigman

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