Mount Carmel woman springs into action to help neighbors during fire

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MOUNT CARMEL, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Northumberland County woman sprang to action as she witnessed her neighbors’ homes quickly go up in flames.

The flames consumed part of a borough block Friday afternoon. Carol Randall witnessed a horrific scene unfold in front of her eyes as she returned home along the 200 block of South Poplar Street.

“I had just pulled my car in from the store, and like I said, I smelled smoke, and I turned around and there was a big explosion. But then it got my attention, I seen the big fireball come out up there in the big window,” Randall said.

As flames began to pour out of several of her neighbors’ homes, she threw her car into park and jumped out into the pouring rain to help.

“I’m screaming, ‘did somebody call 911?’, you know, ‘get out of the house’, and I immediately went to neighbors and started knocking on doors to get them out,” Randall said.

All of her neighbors were able to safely escape the fire. Others pitched in too, to make sure everyone was accounted for. The Mount Carmel fire chief says no injuries were reported, and it was a community effort to beat the blaze.

“Everybody did a great job. Neighbors, communities coming in and helping us out and bailing us out. It was a good job by everybody. For what they were dealt with, they did a real fine job,” Chief John Janolek said.

Randall is no stranger to selfless acts. She worked as a certified nursing assistant for 27 years and believes in the power of kindness. Her son says he’s extremely proud of his mom.

“She always has a heart like that, to go and help out and reach out. And we helped out as much as we can, so we like to give it back to people,” Randall’s son, Bryson Sourbeer said.

Randall empathizes with her neighbors, who are now being assisted by the Red Cross. She lost her home in a flood years ago, and has lived through a tornado.

“People were there for me, so I want to be there for others,” Randall said.

The fire chief says at least four homes sustained serious fire and smoke damage, while a fifth was damaged by smoke and water. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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