Something didn’t look quite right to Carol Purvis of Prairie City as she drove past her friend Cheryl Neault’s home on her way to work Tuesday, Aug. 2.
“I thought it was weird Halloween lights,” Purvis said.
She had a feeling she needed to turn around and check, and doing so likely saved her friend from a disastrous house fire.
It was a little before 5 a.m., and Purvis was on her way to work in Unity as she passed Neault’s house, about 3 miles east of Prairie City.
Neault was sound asleep when her friend knocked on the door.
“She came to the front door and said, ‘Your house is on fire,’” Neault said.
Neault used a fire extinguisher and then a garden hose to douse the flames on the wooden back porch. Her husband, Dan, was at work.
It had been hot the previous day, and there was a flower box with bark dust on the back porch that caught fire.
The Rail Fire between Unity and Prairie City had been reported two days before, and Purvis said it had left her car covered in ashes while she was at work.
Neault still doesn’t know what caused the fire.
“If it hadn’t been for her (Purvis), our house would have burned down, possibly with me in it,” Neault said.
The two have known each other for 30 years.
“I tried to tell her, it wasn’t me — something got me to turn around,” Purvis said. “Everything worked out great.”