TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Sarah Ward realizes now more than ever just how close it was.
“Somebody told me I’d be living today I wouldn’t believe it," said Ward.
Ward went to sleep Tuesday night but instead of sleeping in her bedroom she chose to sleep in a chair near the kitchen for no particular reason. A few hours later around 4:30 in the morning, her dogs started sneezing and Ward began to cough.
“After I had that burning in my throat, I opened my eyes and saw smoke," Ward said.
Ward tried to investigate to see where the fire was coming from but the smoke was too much.
“I just blanked out or something," she said.
Somehow, someway this former Troy city jailer managed to not only walk out but call the Troy fire department. The effort to escape was a challenge, difficult for someone who is 78.
“That was too close," Ward remembered.
All the more remarkable to granddaughter Daysia Boyer.
“She’s older. She’s elderly. She suffers from arthritis," said Boyer.
Sarah Ward says there is no doubt who helped her get out. Before the fire, she collected crosses. The crosses were destroyed but not their imprints, the scarred imprints on the wall in the hallway that leads to the very bedroom where the blaze started. The Troy Fire Department says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
While on the scene, a retired policeman handed Ward a $500 check to help her get back on her feet.
“I am appreciative and grateful," Boyer said of the donation to her grandmother.
The house is a mess, lots of damage but a priceless gift was spared; Sarah Ward’s own life, leaving her faith intact.
“That’s a blessing, too,” she said.
Boyer says anyone is welcomed to call her to help Ms. Ward. Boyer says her grandmother needs clothing and monetary donations. Daysia Boyer’s number is: 704-698-5423.