2-Year-Old Girl Saved From N.C. House Fire


A 2-year-old Statesville girl is at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital recovering after she was pulled from a burning home on Monday afternoon.

The girls family told firefighters Emma Rae Thompson has third-degree burns on her arms.

James Gandy lives next door to the home on Bethesda Road in Statesville. He said he saw his neighbor, Aleta Bowles, frantic and screaming that her granddaughter, Emma, was still inside the burning home.

Around that same time, Rent-a-Center employees Josh Bryer and Ashley Besole were driving in the area on the way to make a delivery. They stopped and ran to the burning home. Belsole joined neighbors working to get to the little girl.

We put shirts over our faces and we went in on our hands and knees and tried to go in as far as we could, Belsole said.

The flames forced them out. Moments later, the Wayside Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene. Firefighter Jason Workman rushed into the flames and pulled Emma out.

Everyone involved in Emmas rescue told Eyewitness News they dont consider themselves heroes. Instead, they are focused on her recovery.

I really hope shes OK and that she comes out of this, Bryer said.

Everyone just pray for her, pray that she comes out and she is strong, Belsole added.

The girls grandmother was released from Iredell Memorial Hospital on Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Iredell County Fire Marshall said no foul play is suspected. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the fire was caused by an electrical fan or discarded smoking materials.

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