What if you were driving down the road and you saw a home in flames, not a firetruck insight, what would you do? More importantly, you might ask, “What would Charles do?”
Charles Lloyd is the uncelebrated hero who answered the call and jumped into action to save Taylore Vance and Roi “Herb” Richards as they were unaware their house was going up in flames.
On a warm, sunny day, during the coronavirus lockdown at noon, essential worker, Charles Lloyd was driving for LeMay Inc. collecting waste, when he looked across the street and saw Taylore and Roi’s home in on fire.
Charles parked his truck and leaped into action. In his own words, “I looked across the street, I looked and I saw the flames, and I just went, ‘Oh my God!’ I looked at it for a second, and I thought, ‘Is that really on fire?’ Then, I thought, ‘Oh, no! It is on fire!’”
Here was Mr. Lloyd, out on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a sense taking his life in his own hands, while the rest of us are celled-in and locked down, safe in our homes, yet he refuses to settle into complacency when he’s going about his day to day business.
According to Lloyd, “I noticed the flames coming out of the house and I thought, Oh, my Lord. That house is going to burn down! Flames are just shooting out of the house, and I thought, ‘Oh, no!’ I put the truck in park and ran straight over to the door and banged on the door and opened the door because I wanted to make sure, and I hollered at the lady that was there and the gentleman, and I said, ‘Hey! Your house is on fire! Get out of here!’
It’s simple. You see it. You act. And you go on it. And I’m not a quiet person. When I opened the door, I probably scared her pretty bad. Because I hollered pretty loud, ‘Your house is on fire! Get out!’
They were in their home and they had no idea their home was on fire. They had no idea. They looked at me like I was an idiot when I first said it. “Your house is on fire!”
And they’re like, “What? Who are? You just opened our door and walked in, mister!” (laughs)
Like, you don’t know who’s in there. And you want to make sure everyone is aware and gets out of there because I didn’t know how bad it was. I could only see the front part of it.
And I’m thinking, man, if the smoke’s coming in, who all’s in there, and you have pets in there, you know, let’s get everybody out, and get together, then we can worry about what we can get out of the house and be safe doing it.
It was pretty important. And the roof! That roof is all cedar shake. And it was a nice day. It would have went up pretty quick. So, we went and got a hose.
A young man got up on the ladder and climbed up there, and started dowsing it down. Thank goodness that we were able to slow it down good enough that when the fire department got there, they could take over.
I mean, that was the good part. Because you look at some of that and you think, a hose isn’t going to do much good. But we just kept the water on it and if we hadn’t, by the time they got there we wouldn’t have been able to stop it.
The young man that climbed up on the roof really helped out and that worked out really good.
I’ve never had a house burn down, so I don’t know how that feels, but there’s some people in our church that I know that their house had burned down, and it’s a scary thing.
God put me in the right place at the right time, that’s all that’s to it. It had nothing to do with me. God’s plan was to not have their house burn down.
Shoot. I was just doing my job, doing the garbage truck and I pulled up and backed down that road across from there and saw someone’s house going up in flames.
I just feel that it was… Hopefully, anybody would have done it. That’s what I hope. I was thinking, you know, how many people drove by? That’s what scares me.”