Oakley St. fire now called arson, passerby helps man escape

Passerby helps save man from burning house

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Crews responded to a fire in Evansville around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

It happened at a house in the 800 block of Oakley Street.

According to the Evansville Police reports, the fire is being called an arson

The report says the fire was set in the living room and spread up the stairwell.

A number of calls came in from people on Oakley Street as firefighters were on their way to the scene.

“First crews arrived and they reported they had fire showing from a first-floor window," explained District Fire Chief Mike Larson. "They did a real quick knockdown of the main body of the fire, did a search and found no other occupants inside other than the one gentleman that was exiting when they did arrive on scene initially.”

Nobody was injured, but witnesses tell us that could have been a completely different story if not for one man’s heroics.

That man spoke to us off-camera and said he was sleeping in his upstairs room when the fire started. Buck McNary says he was walking past the house at the same time.

“The flames were extreme," McNary describes. "When I say extreme, that house flamed up fast, very fast. I’ve never seen a structure burn that fast as fast as that structure caught fire.”

Neighbors say McNary was able to help the man escape the house unharmed.

“You know God put you in certain places and put you in certain situations and I was just blessed to be in that situation," McNary said. "I saved someone so that’s all that matters.”

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