A northern Vermont man had a chance Friday to thank three community members who became his heroes this week.
Bill Mayo, Scott Ovitt, and Chuck McAllister leapt into action to pull Terry Pilon, who has a physical disability, from a burning home Wednesday.
“You look better than last time I saw you,” McAllister joked as he and the other men reunited with Pilon two days after the fire.
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“I’m getting all choked up,” Pilon said, fighting back tears.
Wednesday morning, Pilon and his wife, Diana, woke up to a frantic neighbor shouting that their home was on fire.
Mayo happened to be driving by, and knew Pilon was an amputee, following a nasty car crash that almost killed him.
Suspecting Pilon’s life might be in jeopardy again—this time from flames—Mayo raced to the nearby Franklin General Store, which he owns, to recruit the two other men to help. They happened to be in the area of the store during their work day.
“I didn’t realize the danger I was in,” Pilon told his rescuers, explaining he wasn’t aware how serious the fire was or how fast it was spreading.
Ovitt and McAllister hauled Pilon from his bedroom to the front of the house and lifted him over the railing of the porch, lowering him to Mayo, who was waiting on the ground below to help him down.
Seconds later, the home erupted into a massive fireball, Mayo said, but not until after Pilon made it out unscathed.
“You had a tear going down your face,” Mayo told Pilon Friday, recalling how he looked earlier in the week. “And when I got home that night, it was just us hoping you’re ok.”
Tina Gaudette, the Pilons’ daughter, also visited the general store Friday to thank Mayo, Ovitt, and McAllister.
“I know you guys think you just saved these two,” Gaudette said, referring to her parents. “But you really saved me, too, because I can’t live without them yet.”
After first surviving that car wreck, now a fire, Terry Pilon’s crediting his lifelong faith in Jesus Christ with putting all the pieces in place for that dramatic rescue.
“Maybe that’s why I always come out smelling like a rose,” Pilon said.
The Pilons said they will be forever grateful for the community members who were willing to risk their safety for Terry’s.
State police investigators could not pinpoint a cause of the fire but said it was not suspicious.