ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene woman has been reunited with a group of teens who pulled her and her husband from a burning mobile home overnight.
Dora Whiteley greeted the teens – Brent Bailey, Dylan Bruton, Tyler Cogburn, and Dale Hensley – with hugs, tears, and a whole lot of thanks as they surprised her at her family member’s house Tuesday afternoon.
Their first meeting several hours prior was a scene far more tense and chaotic.
“I’m so glad these boys had the courage to do something a lot of people never would have done,” Whiteley explains.
The boys, all just 16 and 17-years-old, were driving home from a friend’s house around 3:15 a.m. when they saw smoke from what they thought was someone grilling at a home on the 100 block of Meadowlark Drive.
When they got closer, they saw the smoke growing, then some flames, so they jumped into action, running up to the home and busting down the door.
They were able to save Dora and her husband, who was immobilized on the floor, as well as Dora’s life-saving oxygen tanks.
“I would have never forgiven myself if those oxygen tanks would have burst and those children would have gotten hurt,” Whiteley told KTAB and KRBC.
When Dora asked her young heroes if there was anything she could do for them, they all replied “no ma’am”, saying they just did whatever they could to help some else in their time of need.
“It feels good. . .knowing that we saved someone’s life and saved a lot of heartbreaking,” Bailey said.
Unfortunately, all 5 of Whiteley’s dogs died in the fire and her home is a total loss, but she’s not giving up hope anytime soon.
“All we can do is pick up the pieces and keep going because God doesn’t want us to give up,” Whiteley explains.
Whiteley is receiving help from the Red Cross and a few local businesses, but since her family only receives income from social security, she’ll need additional assistance as she begins to recover from this terrible loss.
Investigators believe the fire was ignited by an electrical failure, causing $40,000 worth of damage.
A GoFundMe page has been set up help Whiteley and her family move forward after this fire.