Fort Mill man dies in fire after saving wife

Fort Mill man dies in fire after saving wife

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 20 at 7:21 PM

FORT MILL, S.C. -- A Fort Mill woman is out of the hospital and mourning the loss of her husband after he saved her life.

A fire started in their Fort Mill home in the 1800 block of Wiliams Road; the 84-year-old carried his wife to safety.

“Just devastated; you hate to lose a good friend and a neighbor," said Bill Bagwell.

Bill Bagley has lived a house down from 84-year-old Ken Sloan and his wife Avie Lee for decades, and he says Sloan's final action of carrying his wife to safety shows the kind of man he was.

"He was just a hero, is all you can say, because they were both limited to what they could do, and she was basically in the chair all the time," said Bagwell.

Wednesday evening it was that power lift chair that caught on fire. Bagwell says considering Sloan's health problems it’s a miracle he was able to save his wife.

"He gained enough strength to get her up and out of the house and into a chair and to safety," said Bagwell.

But then Sloan went back into the burning house. Family members told NBC Charlotte he was found holding the fire extinguisher, so they believe he went back in to try and put the fire out of the power lift chair.

Avie Lee was taken to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill with non-life threatening injuries. Emergency crews were unable to revive Ken on the scene. Bagwell says they were a couple meant to be together.

"They were sweet on each other young and went their separate ways and married other people, then after a number of years they got back together and just were very devoted to each other," said Bagwell.

Family members told NBC Charlotte the Sloans were actually going to move into assisted living this weekend. Now as they mourn one loss, they're still amazed one life was saved.

"He couldn't hardly get out himself most the time, and all of a sudden he lifts his wife up; I guess all the fear gave him that strength," said Bagwell.

The damage is estimated to total $50,000.

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