Three Men Help Rescue Woman from Burning Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/3/03 - Smith County

Three Men Help Rescue Woman from Burning Home

Nothing's left of Karen Beard's house, except a chance at life.

"It's a wonder looking at that she ever got out," a family member says in amazement.

But she did thanks to a daring rescue by three men.

"Well, I just had someone beating on my door at two o'clock and said the house next door was on fire," says Tommy Nunn, one of the Karen's rescuers.

Inside and unconscious from the smoke, Karen, Tommy Nunn's neighbor of 15 years.

"We tried to get her out but the smoke was just too heavy," remembers Nunn.

Nunn and his son-in-law helped Karen's ex-husband buy some time and keep her cool by shooting water from a garden hose through her window.  Nunn describes the scene early Friday morning,

"Her torso was on that corner and her feet were sticking out the other way laying on her back."

It's ash now, but at the time flames were only about six feet from Karen, so the men knew they needed to inch her closer to the window.

"That's it right there (the cable) that is the loop that took hold of her," says Nunn.

A simple TV cable, but brilliant idea transformed the cable into a lasso.  Finally, the break Nunn and his persistent crew needed for Karen's sake.

"It's your just doing what you have to do to try and get her out of there," says Nunn. "That's all we were trying to do is get her out of there before the house fell in on her."

"I owe him," says John Filiberto, Karen's father.

John is counting his blessings that Nunn was close by to help Karen.

"He's a first class citizen always has been," says Filiberto. "We've loved them both he and his wife and I'm just tickled to death he was there."

"I'd do it for anybody I knew her you know we did what we had to do."

The three men are being called heroes by many because they had Karen out before firefighters arrived.  As of Friday night, she was listed in critical condition after being air-lifted to Parkland Hospital's burn unit in Dallas.

The Smith County Fire Marshal believes the fire started in the utility room, though they don't know why.

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