Lynchburg man escapes house fire unhurt, thanks to good Samaritan

Man is uninsured


A good Samaritan may have saved a man's life in Lynchburg on Monday morning. 

“She was sent here for a reason,” Ronald Hamer said while shaking and understandably emotional.

A call came in at 6:32 a.m. for a fire at a house along the 2700 block of Concord Avenue, which is near the Lynchburg Waste Management facility. Heavy flames extended from the porch all the way to the attic. 

Sixty-nine-year-old Hamer, who says he has lived in the home all his life, was outside by the time firefighters arrived. He was sleeping when the fire started and did not know there was a fire until Debbie Dudley, from Appomattox, made the brave decision to see if someone was inside.

She was driving by when she noticed it and knocked on his door. 

“I kept knocking on the door. He finally answered and said ‘What?’ I said, ‘Your house is on fire.’ By the time I got him out the door, the whole side was in flames,” Dudley said.

Hamer tearfully told 10 News that he's thankful for Dudley, who he credits with saving his life. 

The home has been in Hamer's family for 100 years and it means a lot to him.

“I don’t know what generation caretaker I am, but it’s been an important landmark for the people in the community,” Hamer said.

Hamer said Dudley stopped him from giving in to the temptation of going back inside to get his phone and other items. 

Dudley said there were others who called 911 about the fire but no one else had thought to knock on the door. It took a minute to wake him up, she said.

“I’m most thankful for Debbie because in essence she probably saved my life,” Hamer said.

 “I don’t call myself a hero. God had me where he wanted me,” Dudley said.


Within an hour, crews were able to extinguish the fire. 

No one was hurt. 

The Red Cross is helping Hamer, who does not have insurance. Anyone who would like to donate can send money to the Red Cross under Ronald Hamer.

There is an estimated $30,000 worth of damage, according to the organization. 

Officials are working to figure out what caused the fire. 

First responders hope to have Concord Avenue back open by 10 a.m. 



A house fire is causing a traffic issue on Monday morning. 

Emergency crews and police are at the scene of a fire along the 2700 block of Concord Avenue in Lynchburg, which is close to the Lynchburg Waste Management facility. 

That stretch of road is blocked until further notice. Drivers should find an alternative route.