CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) – John Peters and Jay St. John said Saturday started off just like any other one this time of year, until they saw the black smoke rising from Carolina Forest. Both men said they knew something was wrong and knew they needed to help.
St. John said they started knocking on doors warning people to get out.
"We saw a lady watching TV with her dog and she didn't realize it but her building was actually on fire," St. John said. "I told her, 'ma'am, you have to leave now, your building is on fire.'"
As the flames spread, Peters said they were some of the first people on scene and he only saw one officer at the time knocking on doors.
"There wasn't much that we exchanged at that time," Peters said. "Luckily he just took it on instinct that I was there to help."
St. John and Peters said the scene turned into chaos as people screamed while running for shelter as the fire grew. Peters said the fire eventually pushed them back to search in other buildings.
"It wasn't more than a minute and a half we were overtaken by embers and smoke and it just got completely dark," Peters said. "So we hopped back in the car and by the time we drove down the same road we drove in the fire had jumped the road and entered the forest."