DYER | Two women escaped from a home at 2721 Wood Drive late Thursday after two passers-by risked their lives to warn them their house was on fire, Dyer police and fire officials said.
Bill Green was driving home to the nearby Autumn Chase subdivision when he noticed smoke coming from a neighboring subdivision, pulled around and saw flames shooting out of one house, he said. He went up to the home just as another passer-by, David Lopez, had hopped out of his car to look.
Green called 911 and the two discovered the front door was open.
"We just ran in because we thought, 'Gee, someone could be in there,'" Green said.
They could see flames in the kitchen and ran through heavy smoke to the second floor, where they found an elderly woman and a middle-aged woman in a bedroom, Green said. The men told the women about the fire and escorted them out.
Dyer police Detective Cmdr. Joseph Cinko confirmed Green's account. Both men were interviewed by a police officer after the rescue.
"They basically risked their lives and safety and escorted those two ladies out," Cinko said.
When firefighters arrived at the home shortly after 10 p.m, heavy smoke and flames were visible along the back of the house and roof, Dyer Fire Chief Thad Stutler said.
It took firefighters from Dyer and three other departments about 50 minutes to get the fire under control, Stutler said. The other fire departments assisting were Munster, St. John and Schererville. Lynwood firefighters were on standby at the Dyer fire station.
The fire started at the back of the house, and its cause is under investigation, Stutler said. It does not appear to be suspicious.
The home was so heavily damaged it was not habitable and its residents have relocated until repairs can be made, he said.