09/25/04 — Air Force angels

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Air Force angels

You hear all sorts of reasons why Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is good for Goldsboro. Charlotte Boyette has two of her own — Tonja Orwig and Davin Allen.

Ms. Orwig and Allen are both stationed at the base. Sometimes they work late shifts, which is what brought them into the lives of Charlotte Boyette and her family.

Ms. Orwig was driving home after midnight Tuesday night when she noticed something amiss at the Boyette home on Green Drive. She pulled into the driveway and saw that the garage, which abuts the house, was on fire.

She rang the doorbell, setting the Boyettes’ dog barking, and awoke the family. That is Benjamin Boyette; his wife, Charlotte, and their daughter, Carly, who is 15. Carly’s bedroom is near the garage.

As the Boyettes roused neighbors to warn them of the danger, Ms. Orwig called 911.

Meanwhile, Davin Allen, driving through the Pinewood area, could see the fire because a tall tree was burning. Allen’s car is equipped with Onstar, an emergency communication system, and he used it to ensure that firemen were alerted and to pinpoint the location of the fire. Then he went there himself to see if he could help.

Both Allen and Ms. Orwig helped firefighters with the hoses. Firefighters kept the fire from spreading beyond the garage — which actually was used as a workshop for Benjamin Boyette’s tool-and-die business. The house escaped unharmed except for some damage to some outside bricks near the shop.

But that’s not all. Allen offered to come back Wednesday, take care of a bottled-gas tank that was a worry and help clean up. Ms. Orwig stopped by the house on the way to work Wednesday just to say hello, to see if there was anything else she could do, and give a little encouragement.

She found the Boyettes in a pretty good mood for a family that had just suffered a setback. They were happy that no one was hurt, or worse. For that, Mrs. Boyette said, they thanked Davin Allen and Tonja Orwig, Air Force members.

Published in Editorials on September 25, 2004 11:40 PM