Newspaper delivery man alerts couple to house fire and saves their lives

Charlene Sakoda
Odd NewsFebruary 12, 2014

Grandparents Marcia and Bob Collier were deep asleep when they heard pounding on their front door, which turned out to be a life saving knock from a newspaper delivery man.

KPHO CBS 5 spoke to Mr. Collier who recalled, “I was in a dead sleep. Sounded like he was coming through the door and I thought somebody was breaking in so I grabbed one of my guns.” It didn’t take long for Mr. Collier to realize that the knocking served as a fire alarm because he saw that his North Phoenix, Arizona home was in flames. Identified simply as Taz, the newspaper delivery man saw the fire and alerted the couple inside.

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An electrical failure caused the kitchen fire, which soon spread throughout their mobile home. The two escaped without injury but before they could thank Taz, he was gone. “All I remember is turning around as I was leaving the trailer and looking down and seeing a beard and a white truck and then he took off,” said Marcia.

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The grateful grandparents wanted to meet their rescuer and eventually were able to when they caught him on his early morning newspaper route. “He just said he, he saw the, the flames and was knocking, and knocking, and knocking, and really banging on the door, and couldn’t get anyone,” said Marcia. “And he didn’t have his phone working so he had to run across the street and try to wake someone up to, to call someone to get someone down here. So he, he was a really good guy, really nice guy.”

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Taz shied away from cameras and did not want to be interviewed, but Bob recalled more of their conversation. “He told us the same thing. ‘God bless us.” You know, and it was really kind of touching for me. It really was. He saved my wife’s life. That’s what’s important. I have my wife,” Bob said. “That’s the most important thing. We have each other,” said Marcia.

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The hero’s arrival was fortunate in so many ways. Bob said, “We have two smoke detectors in the house and neither of them, which were going off, until we were exiting the house. So it would have been close.” Marcia added, “And thank God it was not on a Sunday because he wouldn’t get here until seven. That’s what he told us.”

The Colliers home is a total loss but they have fire insurance and are staying with relatives, who also live in the same mobile home park. Despite losing items that cannot be replaced like the photograph of Bob’s proposal to Marcia, they are thankful to have the memories and each other saying, “The world is full of good people. I truly believe that.”

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