Strangers help mom, daughter escape fire

ELGIN It happened Thursday morning in the 800-block of St. Charles St. in Elgin.

A trip down memory lane actually turned into a rescue mission. Nancy Roth lives in Las Vegas and works for the Ultimate Fighting organization. She was in town to promote an event this weekend in Rosemont and decided to drive around her old childhood neighborhood.

It's the first time she's been there in 16 years. But a neighbor says that her purpose for coming must have been to save a mother and daughter.

"I was sleeping and in a few minutes I heard somebody in Spanish saying, 'Ayudame!' which means 'help me,' said neighbor Meraida Figueroa.

Figueroa ran outside to see what was wrong and saw smoke pouring out of the house across the street. That smoke also caught the eye of Roth, who was driving by.

"I thought I pulled my car over to the right, but apparently I just stopped my car on the road," Roth said. "And the gentleman behind me noticed, well, he can't get around me in the traffic and he saw where I was running, and he jumped out of the car and helped me."

Roth ran across the street just as the woman was running back inside the smoky house. Minutes later, the woman came out holding her 4-year-old daughter. Roth grabbed her and with the help of another man passing by, helped the mother down the stairs. Her feet had been burned.

"I was holding her, and we were trying to keep her off of her feet because they were so badly burned on the bottom," Roth said.

The mother is being treated for burns and the daughter is OK. They live in the house with a few other relatives, but they all now have to stay with another family member until the house is repaired. Figueroa says that if it wasn't for Roth, things could have been a lot worse.

"Just for her stopping, she helped, you know, save a mom and a daughter, and, you know, helped this family," Figueroa said. "A lot of people would have just driven by and not stopped."

Roth also called 911 as soon as she saw the fire. She says that she wants to continue to help the family, hoping that once she gets back to Las Vegas she can collect some funds or much-needed supplies for this family.

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