Apex man called a hero after alerting neighbor about fire

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

APEX, NC (WTVD) -- The Apex Police Department honored Joshua McMillian, 33, with a "Chief's Coin" after he alerted a neighbor about a fire at his home.

Homeowner Allan Lamy, who goes by Al, said McMillian saved his life.

The fire was reported after 4:30 Sunday morning, Apex Fire Chief Keith McGee said.

McMillian was getting home from his overnight job as a security guard at Noir Bar & Lounge in Raleigh. He said he was about to go to sleep when he heard a loud noise.

"I hear a loud bang so I look out of my window," McMillian said. "And I realize that my neighbor's yard is completely on fire. His fence, backyard, everything."

McMillian ran to Lamy's home on Harbor Haven Drive and knocked on his door.

"Al was still in there and (McMillian) was banging on doors and making people come out and move their cars," neighbor Beth Becker said.

Lamy said he was sleeping upstairs and had no idea about the fire in his backyard until McMillian notified him. When he went outside, Lamy said he saw the heavy smoke.

Another townhome sustained water damage, Fire Chief McGee said. He added that the official cause hasn't been determined, but they believe coals from a charcoal grill in Lamy's backyard somehow started the fire.

The Apex Police Department tweeted about McMillian's "quick thinking, heroic actions," and neighbors are also calling him a hero.

"He's a very very wonderful person," Becker said. "He'd do anything for anyone. He's amazing. He's absolutely amazing."

Lamy, who said he'll likely be displaced from his home for four to six months, said he thanked McMillian half a dozen times but that it's not enough.

McMillian, who works a second job at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, is downplaying his heroic act.

"That's somebody's brother, son, whoever, in the house," McMillian said. "I would hope that somebody would do the same for me. And I wanted to make sure he gets out safe, regardless if something happens to me."