Garbage Man Saves Couple from Burning Home - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

West Frankfort, IL

Garbage Man Saves Couple from Burning Home

Garbage Man Saves Couple from Burning Home
By: Carly O'Keefe

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. - Roger Stanley has been a West Frankfort sanitation worker for nearly 30 years, but he does some hero work on the side.  Early Thursday morning he rescued a sleeping couple from a burning home.

"I was coming down through here picking up the trash and happened to look back and there were flames," said Stanley.

At first Stanley thought someone was just having a bonfire, but upon closer inspection, he saw that wasn't the case.

"Something told me to come back and look again, and there was flames coming out the windows.  Then I came over here and started pounding on the door.  It took a while for them to get up.  I think the smoke must have been getting to them," said Stanley.

Roger pounded on the door so hard, and yelled so loud, he woke the neighbors, and luckily, he was also able to wake Michael Hemminger and his girlfriend Amy Taylor.

"We were sound asleep and we heard someone beating on the door, and heard him--Roger, screaming Michael get out!  Get out!  The house is on fire!" said Taylor.

Michael and Amy got out...just in time.    

"The firefighters said it was just a matter of time before something would have happened to us.  Roger saved our lives," said Taylor.

West Frankfort Fire Chief Wes Taylor said this was actually the second time Roger has called in an early morning fire on his garbage route, and the chief jokes he's even thought of putting an air pack in Stanley's garbage truck.

Stanley was ready to break down the door and run into the burning building to get the couple out if they hadn't answered the door...so has he thought of becoming a fire fighter?

"No, no--not my line of work," said Stanley.

Well, at least folks can sleep well, knowing Roger will continue to patrol the streets of West Frankfort every garbage day.

"We are so appreciative of Roger.  He saved us.  He's truly a hero," said Taylor.

Sadly, the fire did claim one life.  The family dog, a boxer named 'Maggie', died of smoke inhalation.

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