Neighbor helps teens crawl through window to escape fire

By Heartland News

DUQUOIN, IL (KFVS) - Two teenagers in a home alone in DuQuoin when a fire started made it out safely after a neighbor helped them escape through a window.

A fire broke out at a home on North Hickory Street early Thursday morning.

Kevin Tilley, 17, and his 13-year-old sister Jessica were sleeping at home when Kevin woke up smelling smoke.

Kevin says he went into the hallway and saw flames.  He and his sister went to a window in the back of the house, but couldn't break it open or get out.

That's when neighbor Brian Oetting helped them remove an air-conditioning unit to escape.

"I was thinking that we were never going to get out and that we were just going to die and we were going to burn," Jessica said. "I never thought if we were going to get out the window, if anybody was going to help us."

An older sister and the mother had left the house at 5:30 a.m. as the sister drove the mom to work.

Firefighters say they got the call at 6:35 a.m.

Police Chief Mike Ward says the home is considered a total loss.

The teens were checked out at a hospital for smoke inhalation, but were fine.

A firefighter did receive minor injuries on his face.

No word on how the fire started.  The state Fire Marshal is investigating.

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