PHOENIX -- A man and woman in their 70s owe their lives to the person who delivers newspapers in their Phoenix neighborhood.
The delivery man was making his regular rounds in the area of Cave Creek and Bell roads at about 5:30 a.m. Monday when he spotted smoke coming from a mobile home.
He immediately started pounding on doors and walls, waking the couple and their neighbors.
Startled by the commotion, the homeowner grabbed his gun and went to see what was going on. He saw flames shooting from the front part of his mobile home and hustled his wife out the back door to safety.
She was treated for minor smoke inhalation.
A neighbor said had this happened yesterday, things might have taken a tragic turn.
"If it would have been yesterday, they don't deliver the paper 'til seven in the morning," Bob Hamm said. "During the week, they deliver at 5:30. If it had been yesterday, that place would have gone before anybody saw it. We're lucky."
Hamm said the delivery man did a good job rousing the residents, alerting them to the danger.
"He was screaming and hollering and pounding on doors," he said.
The newspaper delivery man, who is being called a hero, stayed on the scene just long enough to talk to firefighters before leaving to finish his route. His name has not been released.
The home is a total loss. Although they have not determined exactly what sparked the fire, investigators believe it was accidental.