JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. — On Jan. 5, a fire in a home at 142 Fairview Circle in Johnsonville threatened the lives of a grandmother and a 2-year-old child.
But two neighborhood men, Wilson Eaddy and Kendrick Williams, entered the burning house and rescued them.
JROTC training kicked in, Williams said, while receiving a proclamation from city of Johnsonville officials honoring him. Police Chief Ron Douglas, making the presentation, said he understood the child wasn’t breathing when it was retrieved from the house. But Williams’ swift actions changed that.
The two entered the flaming, smoke-filled mobile home, Mayor Johnny Hanna said, to do what they did once they became aware the two were unable to get outside.
Eaddy joked that his dog should be with him to get the award, as the dog alerted him to the nearby fire with its barking. He also said he’d do the same thing again, if he needed to.
In reading a proclamation honoring the two, Hanna said they didn’t have to spring into action the way they did, but they did.
They gave up their safety and took the opportunity to save a life, he said. In fact, they saved two lives with total disregard to themselves.
“That’s character,” Hanna said. “We’re here to honor them with a proclamation.”
The two victims were treated in an out-of-state burn center and are doing fine, Hanna said.
“My mama and my baby are here,” Diesher Woodberry said, “because of them.”
The proclamation honored Eaddy and Williams for their “courage, caring and bravery.”
Williams said he wanted to let the town’s people know that this was an opportunity to show he is a better person than he used to be, “than what I did in my past … dealing drugs and all that.”
Members of the Johnsonville Volunteer Fire Department, Florence County EMS and others were on hand for the presentation.