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.”