Blind man walks into a burning house to save his elderly blind neighbor

November 28, 2017 12:48 pm Last Updated: November 28, 2017 12:48 pm

Heroic acts come in all shapes, sizes — and senses. Take the case of Houston resident Jim Sherman, who has been blind from birth.

In 2006, Jim, then 54 years old, had returned home from visiting his neighbor Annie Smith, who was then 84, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Her daughter, Deborah Smith, worked nights as a nurse and was concerned for her mother’s safety while she was gone, since Annie was legally blind and had Alzheimer’s. She came up with the idea to buy a baby monitor so Jim could help listen in on Annie when she wasn’t home. Jim agreed.

As Jim was getting ready to go to bed that night, he turned on the baby monitor as usual. It wasn’t long before he started to hear odd noises coming from the monitor and then an unmistakable call for help from Annie: “Jim, the house is on fire!”

Like all heroes, Jim didn’t waste time to go help her despite his sight impediment.

“I knew if I were to wait, it might be too late,” he said.

He quickly put on his shoes and grabbed his walking stick.

Fortunately it wasn’t Jim’s first time to the house. He knew how to make his way there by using the chain link fence as a guide, and once through the gate, straight to the front door.


Jim did not smell smoke until he approached the house. But when he opened the door, the heat and smoke hit him.

”I got to the door and heard crackling, smelled smoke and felt intense heat,” Jim told the Houston Chronicle.

Annie was trying to make her way out when Jim entered the home.

”I took two to three steps (inside) to meet Annie. I grabbed both of her hands firmly to get her out of the house. I was walking backward and she was walking forward,” he further shared.

Once outside safely, Jim called 911 before escorting Annie to another neighbor’s home.

When firefighters arrived, the entire house was already up in flames. Officials said the fire was started by an electrical overload in the bedroom.

Kevin Bates, from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office, said Jim’s actions saved Annie.

“She probably wouldn’t have made it out of the house without his help,” he told the Houston Chronicle.

Following the accident, Annie moved in with her daughter, Delores Perry. Both Deborah and Delores are grateful that Jim was around that night.

“It’s part of Jim,” Delores said. “It’s just the man he is.”