SUMMERFIELD, N.C. — A Rockingham County patrol deputy is being hailed a hero for spotting a house fire while on patrol Tuesday morning and rescuing a family from the blaze.
Patrol Sgt. Jon Peters was responding to a report of a suspicious car in Summerfield when he passed by a house fire at 173 Hunters Glenn Rd. around 4 a.m.
Sgt. Peters sprang into action and was able to wake Monte Moore, his adult son and 4-year-old grandson.
Peters went into the home to grab the child despite seeing flames on the side of the house and knowing he could be walking into danger.
Moore called the blaze a small fire but Peters said he knew the potential for a house explosion.
“It wasn’t small. It burned up the entire side of the house fairly well,” Peters said. “It was a pretty large house and I didn’t see smoke I saw flames coming off the back of the house upon my arrival.”
Moore said he was never worried about losing the house — just his family.
“If the house had burned down it wouldn’t have bothered me as long as all of us are safe,” he said.
Because Peters saw the flames when he did, he even had time to pick up a garden hose to help fight the fire, which kept the damage to a minimum.
“I didn’t do anything that anyone else in the sheriff’s department wouldn’t have done either in the same situation,” Peters said.
A few moments later, the Bethany Fire Department arrived on scene and helped put the fire out.
It was later learned that the suspicious vehicle Peters had received the initial call about belonged to a neighbor and had slipped out of gear and rolled down into the cul-de-sac of the subdivision.
According to Moore, the fire may have started with a cigarette left in a potted plant on the porch about 12 hours earlier. Moore said even though the cigarette appeared to be out it must have smoldered with the help of the fertilizer and continued to burn. That plant eventually burned through the railing of the porch and caught some leaves on fire before it spread to the house and was noticed by Peters passing by.
“Sgt. Peters is a hero,” Sheriff Sam Page said. “I mean, he always does a great job but I believe that this morning, he saved three lives. That’s what it’s all about and I am very proud of him.”
Moore said he was sleeping on the other side of the wall where the fire made it from the porch to the house. He said he heard Peters before smoke detectors ever sounded.
“For him to catch that little window exactly at the time the fire was really getting started there’s something big going on and Sgt. Peters is a part of it somehow,” Moore said. “Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough.”
Peters called it divine intervention and said any day that he can make his boss proud is a good one.