SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Timing is everything.
“We just happened to be driving by, and Mats yelled, ‘Stop. The house is on fire,’” Nate Stone said.
Running late, their mom, Melissa Terris, was driving her 18-year-old sons, Mats and Nate Stone, to class at NSCC in Springhill on Sept. 11 at 10:25 a.m.
The Stones live in Springhill just a few homes up Elm Street from Morris Barton and Marley MacKinnon, and their three young kids and their dog.
“I flagged down Melissa’s SUV and screamed for help,” MacKinnon said.
Focused on getting her boys to class, Mats voice and MacKinnon’s cries for help shocked Melissa into slamming on the brakes in front of the burning house.
Mats and Nate quickly jumped out of the car and saw Barton in the open, second-storey bathroom window with smoke coming out around him.
“They got the ladder for Morris because he was stuck upstairs,” MacKinnon said.
With the house burning below him, the bathroom window was his only escape route.
“He couldn’t get downstairs, so he was going to jump out the window,” Nate said.
With the three kids safely at school and the dog in the back yard, MacKinnon frantically tried to call 911 outside the house.
“Melissa talked to 911 for me,” MacKinnon said.
While they called 911, the brothers scrambled to get the ladder.
“Mats and I ran to the backyard and Mats found the ladder behind their shed,” said Nate, who also happens to have a cast on his broken right foot. “We both ran the ladder over to the other side of the house to the bathroom window.”
A neighbour also helped.
“Our neighbour grabbed the garden hose and was spraying the house where the flames were,” MacKinnon said.
First responders arrived about 10 minutes after Barton climbed down the ladder to safety.
Barton inhaled smoke but, besides that, was OK, which might not have been the case had he been forced to jump from the window.
Unfortunately, the house and their belonging didn’t do so well. Both were destroyed by the fire.
Springhillers are heaping praise upon the Stone brothers through social media, but Nate says he and his brother did nothing special.
“Anybody else would have done the same thing – I think,” Nate said.