Passing driver credited with helping save amputee from Franklin house fire

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A motorist with poor cellphone reception drove to a convenience store to report a house on fire in Franklin, then recruited two customers to help him rescue an amputee who couldn’t get out of bed.

William Mayo, 65, was driving past 4845 Main Street shortly after 9 am Wednesday and saw the homeowner, Diana Pilon, acting frantic on the front porch. Thick smoke was coming from the garage area of the house, police said.

Unable to call 911 because of the poor signal, Mayo drove to Franklin General Store and called emergency responders. He then asked two other men, Scott Ovitt, 42, and Charles McAllister, 56, both of Richford, to return with him to the Pilon residence.

Smoke and flames from the burning garage forced the men to climb over the porch railing to enter the home, where 64-year-old Terry Pilon, an amputee, was in bed.

McAllister and Ovitt got Pilon out of the house and handed him over the railing to Mayo, who was waiting to catch him.

Within minutes, police said, the house was engulfed in flames. 

Investigators have determined the fire started in the garage near an electrical outlet. The cause is undetermined, but the fire is not considered suspicious.

No one was injured, but the house is considered a total loss.  

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