90-Year-Old Veteran Rescued By Strangers From Freezing Cold After Escaping House Fire

Wednesday, February 17th 2021, 9:46 pm


A 90-year-old veteran said he was barely able to escape when fire destroyed his Skiatook home. He went into the cold without a coat, until some Good Samaritans saw the smoke and ran to help.

He said he's now blown away by the support he's getting. 

90-year-old Korean War veteran Charles "Buddy" Griggs crawled out of his burning home into the freezing cold. Some Good Samaritans spotted him and helped him just in time.

Griggs said he lost his wife four months ago and Tuesday, he lost his Skiatook home, along with decades-old family heirlooms inside.

He said it all started when he lost power, so he laid on his chair for a nap.

"I laid back, and BOOM! And it sounded like it was up above me," Griggs said.

The power had turned back on, and family think his floor furnace exploded, starting the flames.

"I don't know how in the devil it spread that quick," Griggs said.

Griggs escaped the painful heat and slipped outside in the freezing cold, without a coat.

"I'm lying in the middle of the street and here comes a car with its lights blinking," he said.

Josh Taylor, James Clack and Danielle Josties were in that car, and when they saw Griggs, they jumped out to help.

"Something kind of drew us there," Taylor said.

Taylor said the three saw the smoke when they to get space heaters because their pipes froze, so they drove toward it.

"Put the blanket on him and threw him in the passenger seat of the truck," said Clack.

Griggs said people have been helping from all over the community. He also said this was the scariest thing he's experienced since the Korean War.

"Everyone was wondering how my heart was. It must have been in pretty good shape or I would've had a heart attack," Griggs said.

As for Taylor and Clack, they said they would help again in a heartbeat because it's the right thing to do. 

"That guy’s the hero," Taylor said. "He's a veteran. He's done way more in his life that I've ever done."

A Skiatook VFW Post is collecting donations for Buddy. They're in need of: medium coat, size 8 shoe, medium shirt, 32/30 Jean/pant. Once he finds a new apartment or small house to rent, they will look for household donations.

For more information on how you can help, visit the Skiatook VFW Auxiliary Facebook page here.