Greg Spike jogged a shorter path on February 28 and was in the right place at the right time to become a hero.
A 74-year-old grandfather was out for his morning run in Eugene, Oregon, when he saw smoke coming from a hotel along the Willamette River. Greg Spike jogged a shorter path on February 28 and was in the right place at the right time to become a hero. While filming the blaze on his phone as he jogged, Spike heard a woman cry for help, USA TODAY reported. It was Stacy Barkley. An Illinois native, Barkley was staying at the hotel while visiting family. The three-alarm fire at the Valley River Inn ignited on the second floor late that morning before spreading to the third floor. Spike thought no further and leaped into action.
Barkley was busy on a crafting project in her Valley River Inn room while her husband, Donald, visited his sister in Eugene. The grandparents were in Deerfield, Illinois, to spend time with their son and pregnant daughter-in-law, who live in Vancouver, Washington. When Barkley was watching TV, she recalled hearing a faint alarm and said, “When I opened the door, the hallway was filled with smoke.” She called her husband, who told her to leave the room, but the fire was too fierce. “I didn't want to get disoriented, I didn't know where the fire was,” Barkley said. She put a towel underneath the door and walked to the balcony when she saw flames coming from the opposite room.
Barkley grabbed some belongings and her coat and returned to the patio door, where she spotted Spike on the walking path. Spike yelled, "Get out! Get out!" But the fire was all around the hallway, so Barkley dropped her bags before she lowered herself down. "I said, ‘Come on, hit me, hit me,’" Spike said. "I was trying to tell her I would break her fall." Barkley climbed over the railing and lowered herself until she could touch Spike. "He just said 'jump,' so I did, and he was there to save me," she said. Barkley was safe and wearing a KN95 mask. "You're OK now, take deep breaths," Spike said. "Thank you!" Barkley thanked as the two hugged, adding, "Oh my God, you saved me."
Soon after the video was shared on social media, Barkley and Spike were reunited virtually via a Zoom interview with NBC16. "I just saw Greg and screamed for help, and he came right over... so I appreciate that you did that for me," Barkley told Spike on Zoom. "Not everyone would do that. And you were very calm and helpful to try and keep me calm." Mike Caven, the fire chief, says the department also appreciates Spike's bravery. "When bystanders step in when we're on our way, they truly can make a difference, so we appreciate the work that individual did," said Caven.
Barkley and Spike hope to reunite in person when she returns to Eugene for the birth of her grandson. She also sent her rescuer a thank-you note and a bunny cross-stitch design she had been working on the day of the fire. "Thank you for being a caring person...you risked your life to come to help me too, not knowing what was there," said Barkley. "So you're a wonderful human being, and I'm blessed to have met you, terribly, but I'm blessed to have met you." She adds, "It’s hard to thank someone that saved you in that way, but he didn't hesitate to answer my plea for help. It was very kind of him."