By Taylor Hemness - bio | email Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) – An East Texas man is preparing for skin-graft surgery after he was severely burned in a house fire over the weekend.
The trailer where the Ridge family lived burned early Saturday morning in west Harrison County, just outside of Hallsville.
Now, John Ridge is being described as a hero after risking his life to save his young family.
Tammy Stone lives right next door to the Ridges, and got an early wake-up call Saturday morning.
"He was banging on our door, saying, 'Help me, help me!' And we opened the door, and the house was just engulfed in smoke," says Stone.
John Ridge was the man banging on Tammy's front door. He needed help because he'd been going back inside the trailer to get his family out.
Tammy could already tell that he was badly hurt.
"He was over here on the steps, his hands were so--it looked like a banana peeling. His hands were just peeling all up and down his arm. It was sad, his face was red," Stone explained.
John's wife, Heather, and daughters Kayla, 6, and Jayden, 3, only suffered some smoke inhalation.
Relative James Mizell says that's all thanks to John.
"The girls--it started in their bedroom, possibly from a space heater, and they alerted their parents. Their parents told them to get out, and they went to the opposite end of the trailer, went to the wrong door, and got caught in the fire, and he went in to rescue them," said Mizell.
John was flown from Longview to Tyler. But, because of bad weather, he had to be driven from Tyler to the Parkland Hospital Burn Unit in Dallas, with second-degree burns.
Mizell says even through the pain, all John cared about was his family's well being. "He's telling them in the hospital, when he was able to talk, that the only thing that's on his mind is that he was able to save his family."
Heather Ridge has also been taken to Parkland Hospital, in Dallas.
The West Harrison and Hallsville fire departments responded to the call.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
John is unemployed, and the Ridge family had no home owner's or health insurance.
If you would like to help, a fund has been set up at First State Bank Hallsville in the name of John and Heather Ridge.
Harrison Cowboy Church has offered up storage locations for donations:
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:07 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:07:39 GMT
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