Time and again, human beings have proven that they’re more than capable of performing incredible feats in moments of extreme emotional or physical stress.
This true story, the tale of 34-year-old Tiffani Williams, a former FedEx carrier who lived in Memphis, Tennessee with her three children and her disabled Aunt Paula, is one such example: and it has to be seen to be believed…
Tiffani was a single mother who had spent her whole life working hard to raise her three children. Prior to the incident, she had been a material handler for FedEx. It was a good job, though one that required constant walking. Eventually, all that walking began to take its toll.
She suffered a knee injury on the job, tearing both her ACL (anterior curcite ligament) and her meniscus. The injury was so severe that she required extensive surgery. It would not only prevent her from walking for a two months, but would also require her to be out of work for that long at least. And the worst was yet to come…
At the same time, Tiffani was living with her disabled aunt, Paula Turner and her three children in their Memphis, Tennessee. Aunt Paula had cerebral palsy and had been disabled her entire life and it fell on Tiffani to be responsible for her.
It happened on a random afternoon in August of 2017. Tiffani’s children were all out and she, still recovering from her surgery, had decided to take a nap. Meanwhile, Aunt Paula was down the hall, napping as well, only she was hooked up to her C-Pap breathing apparatus. Suddenly, Tiffani was awoken from her slumber by a strange noise…
Apparently, Aunt Paula found it difficult to nap with the apparatus on and had pulled it off in her sleep. An alarm was hooked up to the device, which was necessary to maintain her breathing. Tiffani, who heard the alarm go off, hobbled herself on crutches over to her Aunt’s room.
When she got there, she beheld a most terrifying sight. The air conditioner in Aunt Paula’s window had apparently caught fire. Flames licked at the window pane and Tiffani could see and smell the smoke rising steadily into the air. She had to think fast…
Tiffani Williams’ first thought was “get her out.” She knew that her disabled aunt would never be able to leave the house on her own steam, but she also knew that with her own injuries, it would be nearly impossible to shift her aunt enough to get her down the stairs and out of the house by herself.
In a flash, Tiffani limped over to the window and snatched the huge curtain down before it caught fire. Then, she threw it on the floor, pulled Aunt Paula off the bed and places her on the curtain. Once she was sure her aunt was secure, Tiffani began to try and work out how she was going to get her out of there. She didn’t have much time left…
Pull Her Along
With no other choice left to her, she cast aside her own crutches and lowered herself to the floor. If she was gonna get Aunt Paula and herself out of there, she’d have to do it by dragging both of them through the rest of the house to safety.
Pull Her Along
Slowly but steadily, the 34-year-old dragged her aunt outside. This was the very emergency plan she’d come up with months before, only at the time she’d presumed that she would have had the use of her legs. Meanwhile, the fire began blazing out of control in Aunt Paula’s room…
All Her Strength
It was a grueling process and the few minutes that it was actually taking felt like an eternity for the pained mother of three. But on she went, pulling and sliding, pulling and sliding, trying her best to get away from Aunt Paula’s bedroom before the flames began to spread past the door.
All of a sudden, Tiffani heard another, equally more terrifying sound erupt from the inferno that was formerly Aunt Paula’s room. The ensuing explosion shook the entire house and in an instant, Tiffani knew what had happened: one of Aunt Paula’s oxygen tanks had exploded. They had to move faster…
She had finally reached the stairs and now there was only one way she could make it the rest of the way. Tiffani placed her disabled aunt on her lap, carefully brought herself to the edge of the steps, and began to scoot her butt along the steps. Meanwhile, the exploding oxygen tank had allowed the fire to spread. Time was running out.
Hard to Believe
Despite the fact that it was all happening for real, Tiffani felt as though it were all some epic dream. Even after she and her aunt had made it from the bottom of the stairs to the front door, she couldn’t believe they had done it. A woman, who herself was barely capable of walking, had not only escaped, but she’d saved her disabled aunt as well…
At the same time, the Memphis Fire Department had already dispatched at least five fire trucks and other equipment to Tiffani’s home at 2723 Margot. It was around 12:35 p.m. when they finally arrived and they couldn’t believe what they saw sitting on the front lawn.
After pulling the two women farther away from the burning home, firefighters entered the house at 12:41 pm. Thankfully, due to Tiffani’s preparedness and actions, both women were out of the house and completely safe. The women sat and watched as firemen began to fight the blaze, hoping that they might be able to save their pets which were still trapped inside…
Waiting and Hoping
The fire crew took less than 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control but it was all too late. Meanwhile, Tiffani sat in a chair across the street, being examined by the on-site paramedics, the long scars on her kneecaps, now scraped from her heroic crawl.
A Sad Loss
Unfortunately, when it was all said and done, the house was almost completely destroyed. The firefighters on the scene had found the remains of two animals in the remnants of the house. It seemed the flames and smoke were serious enough that the family’s five dogs: Snoosta, Molly, Pandora, Pooch and Jack, were all killed in the blaze…
God was There
In the end though, Tiffani Williams said that she and her Aunt’s escape is nothing short of a blessing. “It’s nothing but God,” said Tiffani. “I know that he was there.” Sadly, while not taking their lives, the blaze ended up costing this family everything else they owned.
Today, Tiffani, Aunt Paula, and the three children are staying with a family member. Tiffani hopes that she will recover soon and be able to return to work, but she agrees that everything happens for a reason. Meanwhile a GoFundMe has been set up to help the family get back on it’s feet.