Newspaper carrier alerts authorities to house fire

Gaston Gazette

Dorothy Tate, a substitute newspaper carrier for Good News Gaston, was delivering papers in Cramerton, North Carolina, Monday night when she saw flames coming from a house. She blew her horn and called 911.

Tate had not planned to go to that part of town at that time but “It was like my car had a mind of its own,” she told Kevin Ellis of the Gaston Gazette.

She should have headed east, but she turned west instead.

“They told me that God just picked me to go that way,” Tate said.

Firefighters rescued Dawn Black from the house, but she later died.

Newspaper carriers are among the nation's least-sung first responders, and they discover fires with some regularity. In June Nicholas Belanger was delivering The (Woonsocket, Rhode Island) Call to the Li’l General store in Burrillville, Rhode Island, when he saw a house "all torched up" and alerted authorities.

In July a carrier for the Waxahachie Daily Light saved five people from a fire, but refused to identify himself.

In other recent newspaper carrier news, Rafael Ortega beat back a challenge from 70-year-old newspaper carrier/caddy Charles Barklind for a seat on the Ramsey County (Minnesota) Board of Commissioners. And Tom Poulin, who delivered Waterville, Maine's Morning Sentinel and the Lewiston Sun-Journal, died in October when his SUV hit a tree.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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