Brad Edmonson was running late Thursday morning, trying to get from his home in Meridian to testify before a Leflore County grand jury.
An agent with the Mississipi Bureau of Investigations, Edmonson said he was frustrated trying to leave his house on time with a 2½-hour drive ahead of him in the morning rain, but things just kept coming up that delayed his departure.
“I was thinking I was running late, but I was right on time apparently,” he said.
As Edmonson drove north on Mississippi 35, he said, he entered Carroll County about 7:30 a.m. and saw what he thought was fog across the road.
He drove through it and realized it was smoke but figured it was somebody burning trash. When he was on the other side, he looked back and saw a house off the road with smoke “just billowing out of it.”
Edmonson pulled over and started back to the house as a woman in her 40s came toward him, screaming that her father was still inside, he said.
Without regard for his own safety, Edmonson ran to the burning house and entered the front door, where he found a man in his 80s struggling to get out.
“I scooped him up and carried him down the driveway,” Edmonson said matter-of-factly.
He called 911, and firefighters from North Carrollton and Vaiden responded, along with Carroll County sheriff’s deputies. Paramedics were able to treat Mark Williams, the elderly man, and Heather Williams, his daughter, for smoke inhalation at the scene. They did not require hospitalization, according to Edmonson.
“We’re extremely grateful he was coming through there when he was,” said Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker. “He was running late and aggravated, and then this happened, and he knew God had a plan.”
“My wife told me God wanted me right where I was at that time,” Edmonson said, his voice breaking. “I was just glad I was in the right place at the right time. ... And anybody else would have done what I did.”
The Williamses’ house was heavily damaged by the fire.
Edmonson had been lead investigator with the MBI in Greenwood for two years before being offered the opportunity to return to his home district in Meridian. He and his wife, Lindsey, have two children: a 14-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter.
• Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.