Eighty-nine-year old Pearl Mabry has been a grandmother to more than just her own 12 grandchildren. In her town of Cheraw, South Carolina, Mabry has kept an eye on many of the neighborhood kids, proudly watching them grow up.
So when a transformer blew near her home last month, causing her house to catch fire, the first thing brothers Jimmy Brown, 16, and Logan Campbell, 17, thought about was checking on their neighbor, “Mrs. Pearl.”
“We were in the field behind our house when our mom saw the fire and yelled, ‘Go get Mrs. Pearl,’ but by the time she said it we were already there, kicking her door down,” said Logan.
Logan said he and Jimmy "ran in screaming" for Mrs. Pearl, got her out of the house and across the street to where she was safe.
Joann Campbell, Jimmy’s mother and Logan’s stepmother, said that her sons grew up having a close relationship with Pearl, helping her with yard work, playing with her grandchildren, and enjoying her home-cooked meals.
“I played with her grand-kids when we were little," Jimmy told TODAY.com. "She switched me when I was acting up. She always fed me, even if I wasn’t hungry. She’s always taken care of me."
“We are very, very proud of them. They’re really good boys,” Joann said of her sons’ efforts. “We’re very thankful for all of the accommodations and everything, but truthfully I wouldn’t expect anything different from my children.”
The boys were honored this week at a town council meeting, where they were thanked by Mabry and her family, and given a proclamation by Cheraw mayor Andy Ingram.
Marvin Murray, chief of the Cheraw Fire Department, says the boys are very deserving of the praise they have received from their community.
“As the fire chief I, along with all the personnel at the Cheraw Fire Department, am very proud of these two young men," Murray said. "They showed a great deal of courage in saving Mrs. Mabry. I truly feel that if they had not done what they did, we could have had a very different outcome from that fire.".
Pearl’s daughter, Melanie Brock, said her mom has vascular dementia, and is slightly confused about the details of the fire. She does know, however, that the boys came into her house, got her out, and saved her life.
And, Brock said once the roof, ceilings, electrical work and plumbing are repaired in her mother’s house, she will be able to return to her home.
“I am so grateful for these boys. They saved my mom," Brock said. "You think of some of these mischievous boys doing things they shouldn’t be, and here you have two of them that didn’t think about anything else but her – they only thought about saving her and getting her out. And that’s what they’ve done — saved my mom."