Neighbor pulls man from burning trailer

Woman being hailed as a hero
Apr. 11, 2014 @ 06:48 PM

A loud rap on her front door just before 7 a.m. Friday jarred Susan Hamm from her seat. It was a girl who lives next door, and she was upset.

"Michael's trailer is on fire," the girl said, frantic.

Hamm, 60, said she raced out the door of her mobile home on Natalie Court in Dudley Shoals, and jumped over the rail surrounding the small deck outside her trailer. Hamm has a heart condition and stomach cancer, but she wanted to save her neighbor, who also has cancer and suffers frequent seizures.

"I went running over there and yelled, 'Michael, Michael!'" Hamm said. "I could hear him hollering for me."

Michael Shireman, 60, was in a bedroom on one end of the trailer. The fire was in the kitchen, at the other end. Hamm got past the kitchen and reached Shireman, who was cut on his face and neck. Hamm still doesn't know how he was cut.

"He was bleeding real bad. I picked him up and carried him out the front door," she said.

Hamm used her husband, Chuck, to demonstrate how she grabbed Shireman under his armpits and pulled him out.

"She's a hero," said Cheryl Duncan, a friend of the Hamms. "There wasn't anybody else doing anything. He was hollering for her, and she saved him. I would expect anybody to save a life."

Firefighters from the Grace Chapel, Little River and Granite Falls fire departments knocked down the flames in about 30 minutes, but the mobile home is considered a total loss. Grace Chapel Capt. Bryan Edwards said the fire started from the stove in the kitchen.

Shireman was treated for his injuries at Frye Regional Medical Center and released later Friday.