Teacher rescues two people from house fire

FARMVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – An H.B. Sugg Elementary school teacher is being recognized for rescuing a child and her grandfather from their home when it caught fire last Thursday evening.

Marissa Feliciano teaches 2nd grade at the school and was on her way home from work when she noticed a home located at 3569 Moye-Turnage Road near Farmville with lots of smoke and a patio that had already caught fire. When Feliciano realized there were still cars in the driveway, she said that she immediately knew something was not right. She went up and knocked on the door and was in disbelief at the situation.

“So he closed the door in my face and that’s when I realized he was not going to come out willingly, he was not aware of what was going on. So I kicked the door down and that’s when I realized when I opened the door there was a little girl coming from the back room and the house was already filled with smoke and that’s when I automatically ran into the house and got her out,” Feliciano said.

According to Feliciano, the girl was passed over to someone else to keep her safe, while another bystander came running to help Feliciano get the grandfather out of the home. After getting the grandfather out, she called 911 who dispatched the Farmville Fire Department, Bell Arthur Fire Department, Red Oak Fire Department, and Town of Winterville to the home around 4:30 p.m.

“As soon as I saw that little girl’s face the first person that popped into my mind was my niece because she is the same age so it was just really important to me because I thought this is somebody’s family and I would want someone to do the same for my family if it was that case,” Feliciano said.

Feliciano said the school donated clothes, shoes, toys, and blankets to the little girl that same night.

According to Pitt County Fire Marshal, Jay Morris, this was an extraordinary act of kindness.

“Anybody that would stop and take action I would definitely consider a hero at that point,” Morris said.

However, Morris does encourage people to continue to take the proper safety precautions when approaching a situation that seems unsafe.

“It’s not worth putting yourself at risk, if the house was in flames, make that call to 911 and do what you can from the outside but don’t put yourself in harm’s way,” Morris said.

The American Red Cross is currently helping to assist the family. According to Morris, the cause of the fire is believed to be accidental but is labeled undetermined at this time.