An Upshur County man was nearly overcome by smoke in a house fire Tuesday night. It happened in the 4200 block of White Oak Road around 6:30 p.m.
A man staying at the house went to the attic looking for the source of smoke in the living room when he became disoriented. He says other people staying at the house returned home just in time.
When six fire departments arrived, the fire was through the roof. Twenty minutes earlier Caleb Vigneau was trying to find the source of smoke in the house and ended up in the attic. He said he got turned around trying to get out.
He called his girlfriend who was pulling up outside with several others staying at the house to warn them.
"The house is on fire, get everybody out. She said, do you need me to call 911, and I was like yeah. I hear them say well, where's Caleb? In the attic. I got lost. That house has been added on to three different times, so there's different sections. And there's spots where they've taken out wall, but there's still pieces of wall. So I running through the attic and I'm running into this piece of wall, and more piece of wall, so I stopped, and asll of a sudden I hear voices," Caleb said.
"When we got back, I just heard him hollering up there saying he needs help. So I climbed up there trying to find him and he was all the way in the living room, right above the living room," said John Newman who also stays at the house.
"And it's like, where are you at? And I'm saying I'm over here," Caleb recalled.
"Well, I had to crawl back there. I couldn't stand up in there. There was just too much smoke. I don't even see how he was standing up," John stated.
"And all of a sudden he grabs my leg and starts yanking me and he's like, go this way," Caleb revealed.
"I just led him back to the opening. We just got out as soon as we could," John said.
They saved the pets, the Christmas gifts and themselves, but didn't go back into the house for anything else, including Caleb's shoes. He walked around in wet socks for hours with temperatures in the 20s.
Today he has shoes, but he and the eight others staying at the home lost nearly all of their possessions. They do feel fortunate they still all have each other.
"If he hadn't climbed up there and got me, I'd have probably died at the front of the house," Caleb added.
Firefighters were back at the scene two times Wednesday for rekindles.