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Salesman Saves 3 Children From House Fire In Timonium

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Chris Owens
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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ)–Three children in Timonium owe their lives to a person they’d never met.

As Mike Schuh reports, a man passing by saw smoke and took action.

Chris Owens–offering home energy tests–knocks on doors for a living.  But the one he banged on Thursday changed lives.

“I could smell it. I could smell the smoke and see it going up,” Owens said.

Owen, a door-to-door salesman, was giving his sales pitch down the street when he noticed the smoke and saw the flames.

Just two doors down, thick smoke engulfed a home on Quaker Ridge Road.

“Didn’t know if anyone was home, started banging on the door, got on my cell phone and called 911,” Owens recalled.

Inside the home were three kids around 10 years old, who’d just been told not to open the door to strangers.

“The kids opened the door and when they opened the door that’s when the flames exploded,” Owens said.

Thursday’s high winds amplified the damage.

“The neighbor said that 10 minutes, 10 minutes and it was engulfed,” Owens said.

The rebuilding has begun. It’s been enough time for some perspective to sink in.

“I’ve always heard other people called heroes. I go back to I was supposed to be here,” Owens said.

After all that, think about this.

“I wasn’t supposed to be on this street, really,” Owens said.

Thursday morning, his boss changed his route.

“But it all comes down for me, being a Christian, I believe that I was in the right place at the right time for the right reason,” Owens said.

The family can’t thank Owens enough. The same goes for an unnamed 10-year-old.

“A little friend came up,” Owens said. “I was on the sidewalk waiting for the fire inspector, and she said to me ‘I want to thank you for saving my best friend’s life.’”

Knocking on doors for a living, saving lives with just one knock.

Besides losing most of the contents inside, the family’s two cats died.

Firefighters aren’t sure how that fire started.

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