Deaf Man Helps Neighbors Escape Fire
November 27, 2014
By Estephany Escobar
WACO – A deaf man may have saved the lives of his neighbors in an apartment fire on Wednesday.
A fire destroyed a four-unit apartment building in the 1900 block of Morrow Ave, leaving nine people without a home.
The residents were able to escape the flames unharmed. This is in part thanks to James Mester who said he alerted his neighbors after he noticed the flames.
He does not call himself a hero, but just someone who wanted to help the person next door.
Currently, he keeps close to friends after losing his home in an early morning fire.
“A lot of things that I cherish very much and memories are gone. All my cherished items are gone,” Mester said.
Most of the items in the four apartment unit are currently rubble. However, those who live there only lost material things.
“My landlord told me he said thank you, you saved eight people’s lives and I didn’t realize that I was just trying to get everyone out,” said Mester.
Mester said he remembers dozing off while he was watching TV. He said the fire suddenly woke him up.
“Really quickly, I just had a really bad headache and then all of the sudden, I had this horrible smell and I saw the smoke and I was like oh my gosh,” said Mester.
He said he noticed the flames coming from a neighbor’s apartment. He pounded on walls, banged on doors and stomped his feet to alert others to leave and call emergency responders.
“Then I opened my door that goes to the outside, I saw my neighbors’ window and I just banged all over the apartment complex to get everyone out and try to get the fire out,” said Mester.
Mester does not know what the future holds for him. However, he is already working to get back on his feet with the help of his friends and family.
He is homeless for now, but he is staying at the Salvation Army Shelter.
If you would like to help, you can make donations for James Mester at Sign of the Times, which is located at 100 N 6th Waco, TX 76701.