A Williamsport Sun-Gazette delivery company brought over Wednesday newspaper to a woman whose house caught fire that morning.
Becky Livano, a carrier who has been in Sun-Gazette for 22 years, jumped into action when she heard screams and screams for help as she was delivering her deliveries in Loyalsock Township, just north of Montoursville.
“I kept hearing faint cries for help but couldn’t tell where it came from. On the next street I turned, Cummins Street, I could see smoke rising from the house,” Livano said.
The screams Livano heard were those of 65-year-old Sheila Myers, who was stuck in the back of her Inverness Road home in 1981 alongside her 11-year-old bogey dog, Buddy.
Myers has limited mobility due to a car crash she suffered years ago that made going down more than a foot from the back descent terrifying – and smoke was rapidly rising from the house. Myers said her calls had been answered.
Suddenly, this girl appeared right in front of me. I honestly thought she was an angel. She said: I will help you. I just called 911, the fire and police are on their way but we need to get you out of there,” Myers said.
Livano used her flashlight to shine where Myers would land by descending about one foot between the exit and the ground.
The house caught fire as soon as Myers came down the back door to the floor.
This explosion terrified Myers’ dog, Boddy, who ran into the house when he heard an explosion despite Myers’ protests. Myers said Paddy has not been seen since.
Myers crossed the courtyard slowly, with encouragement and persuasion from Livano. Myers quickly pointed out a weakness in the fence, and ordered Livano to kick him to the ground. Through the gap, the two were able to slowly get away from home, as state police helped pull Myers away from home.
Myers explained how Livano skipped the call of duty for a paper-delivering clerk on the 1:30 a.m. shift
Later, a neighbor took Myers to his house to give her a place to stay while they were trying to contact her family. Unfortunately, her son Micah Myers had his phone in a separate room in his south Williamsport home.
According to Myers, Livano pulled out her phone and began searching for an address in South Williamsport. Fortunately, Micah Myers owned a company, and the address was posted online.
“I think I found it,” Livano told Myers.
A few minutes later, South Williamsport Borough police loudly knocked on Ben Myers’ front door.
“I heard someone knocking on the door. It was very consistent,” Micah Myers said.
District police did not tell Micah if his mother was safe – so he led the entire way to Inverness Road praying for the best.
Sheila Myers said that the source of her strength during this time is and is God.
“He helped us during our horrific car accident in 1997, and will continue to do so. He always was, and always will be,” Sheila said.
“Oh my God, you gotta help me, you promised you’d never leave me or forsake me,” Myers remembers praying, riding in her electric wheelchair, pushing debris away on the floor with one crutch. “I can’t do it on my own – I need to get out of this house or I’ll die.”
As Myers remembers how God helped her in a crash when a drunk driver crashed her and her husband’s car to take advantage of the experience, she saw Livano waving at her from behind her yard fence. Livano, too, was injured in a drunk driving collision.
While Livano was making her rounds to deliver the papers Wednesday morning, she was talking to her husband over a megaphone, according to Myers. Additionally, Myers said Livano said she was partially deaf — but was able to hear Myers’ cries for help.
Livano said the small community around Inverness Road came together after the fire.
“I saw that night, a lot of neighbors got together afterwards. He (a neighbor) kept her in his house until her sons arrived… He was crying and hugging me and thanking me… Many neighbors came to check on her,” Livano said. “It was great to see our community come together and be there for each other.”
With that said, Livano maintains a modest role in ending the accident.
“For me, she did what everyone else should do. I don’t consider myself a hero. I just wanted to make sure she was safe,” Livano said. “I was scared, but my main concern was if I could save her.”
Although the house on Inverness Road is uninhabitable, Myers is unharmed and resides with the family at the moment. However, her dog Buddy can’t be seen anywhere until Thursday evening, and it’s believed he ran away from home, too.
“My little dog has been my lifeline since my kids were grown up and gone away and my husband had to go to a nursing home. Friends were my little shadow,” Myers said. Everywhere I went, he followed me. But the kindness of people made me not cry and not feel anxious. ”
“We are very proud of Becky. However, we are not surprised that she acted so quickly to help the homeowner escape the explosion and fire,” said Anthony Segraves, director of delivery and operations at Sun-Gazette. “Becky is not only one of our top carriers, she is such a wonderful person. We are grateful to have worked with Becky for so many years.”
The Sun-Gazette plans to honor and reward Becky and her family. Obviously, she risked her life while saving another,” said Bob Rowley, publisher of the Sun Gazette. “We are grateful to Becky for being in the right place and at the right time to help. On behalf of the Sun-Gazette readers and crew, “Thank you, Becky.”