Heroes pull two Detroit women from house fire, arson suspected

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A garage on Detroit's west side is a pile of charred rubble after neighbors rushed to put the fire out. While investigating, firefighters say they think that it may have been set on purpose - and they're crediting two heroes for saving two lives.

Ellie Donovan is an aspiring Detroit Police officer. On Wednesday afternoon, she was on the phone with her mom when she noiticed smoke coming from the garage.

"When I came around and I didn't hear any sirens or anything, I said 'mom I gotta go'," Donovan said.

Donovan ran up to the home on Mendota while 28-year-old Travis Spencer was doing the same and he also already on the phone with the fire department.

"I'm like yeah I'm on the phone right now so we ran to the door," Spencer said.

They banged on the door but didn't hear anybody inside. They got nervous so they kept knocking and tried a different door and realized at least one person was inside. 

"Then we heard someone yell so we went to this side door and said there's a fire you gotta get out!" Donovan said.

They kicked in the door and found two women inside, including an elderly woman with limited mobility.

"Her mobility is not the best so we were trying to get her out as soon as possible safely. The gal she was with was really frightened," Donovan said.

By this point, the attached garage was engulfed in flames and Spencer said he could feel the heat in the kitchen. Together, they pulled the women out just as Detroit Fire crews were pulling up.

Batallion chief John Hofbauer said once they got the flames out and got a closer look, they believe that the fire is suspicious.

Detroit firefighters contained the flames before they spread further into the home. The elderly woman was taken to the hospital and the other woman is recovering.

"I'm glad I did something because most people probably wouldn't have even stopped. Most people probably would just keep going, " Spencer said. "I'm glad she was here too to help."

These two heroes are grateful those women will be okay. While the Detroit Fire Department? They're grateful for people like them.

"Outstanding job when you arrive at a scene like this, you don't know if it's going to extend into the house and create more of a problem and they did a great job," Hofbauer said.