BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Joyce Hicks has lived in the same house for decades, and for the second time in 16 years, she’s cleaning up after a fire.

She said firefighters should have angel wings for the dangerous rescue they pulled off.

Thursday night’s 911 call came from a laptop in a Glen Burnie bedroom.

The caller, Jim Little, is in his 70s, paralyzed and bedridden with multiple sclerosis. He was helplessly trapped in bed as the flames grew.

“Hurry, hurry I’m gonna die here. I’m gonna die of smoke inhalation. I can’t get out of bed,” He said in the 911 call.

“He could not see his hand, just right in front of his face. He only has use of the one hand, and these two fingers,” Hicks said.

His companion, Joyce, was not home as firefighters burst through the front door for the rescue.

“They wrapped him in a tarp and drug him out of the bedroom, through the hallway, and out the living room, and it was on fire and they were dragging him,” Hicks said.

Though the house is badly damaged, the fire captain calls the outcome the best case scenario.

“He was in a situation where he physically couldn’t remove himself from the house, but he was able to stay composed enough to answer our call-takers questions to assist us with his rescue,” said Capt. Russ Davies, Anne Arundel County Fire.

After three days at Shock Trauma, Jim is healing from minor burns and cuts.

But as he shared on the phone, he’s thankful firefighters got him out alive.

“I say God bless them,” He said. “They’re angels,”

In her charred home, Joyce picked through what can be saved- but is focused on what can’t be replaced.

“Didn’t lose you. You’re still alive. I couldn’t have dealt with that and the house, both,” Hicks said.

She said it could be a year before she’s able to come home again. Jim is recovering in a nursing home.

Devin Bartolotta


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