June 30--FORT LAUDERDALE -- Pinkie Lee Johnson is recovering in the hospital from smoke inhalation following an overnight fire in the Fort Lauderdale home she's lived in for about 70 years.
The 88-year-old woman was rescued by the two live-in sons who care for her in the house she owns on the 500 block of NW 8 Avenue, family members said.
One of the sons, Larry Johnson, was watching television at 2:30 a.m. when he smelled smoke.
"I was trying to figure out where it was coming from and by the time I got up it had spread from the bedroom to the bathroom and along the ceiling," he said.
He woke up his brother Willie Johnson.
"If he hadn't done that I'm sure I'd be dead right now," Willie Johnson said. "I grabbed a fire extinguisher and opened a bedroom door and that's when all the smoke came out, smoke and flames."
He switched to a garden hose but was losing the battle -- so the brothers focused on their mother.
"I said close that door and let's get momma out of here," Larry Johnson said.
They lifted her over the side rails of a hospital-style bed and took her out a back door.
"It's a good thing she had a side door here instead of going through the house that way with all the smoke coming that way," Larry Johnson said.
By then, crews from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue arrived and had the flames under control in a matter of minutes, the brothers said.
Willie Johnson said there are other siblings in the area that he, his brother and mother will be able to stay with. He also said the damaged house is covered by fire insurance.
Larry Johnson said he believes the fire started In a bedroom used for storage.
Its cause remains under investigation.
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