90-Year-Old Man Rescues Wheelchair-Bound Wife From Fire

PHOTO: When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneiders Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.Bernadette Such
When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneider's Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.

When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneider's Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he summoned the strength to rescue Rosemary, his wife of almost 70 years, who is in a wheelchair.

Rosemary, 89, has Parkinson's disease and dementia, the couple's daughter, Bernadette Such, told ABC News today.

"He takes care of her, he does everything for her," Such, 58, said. "She can feed herself. That's the only thing she can do."

On Thursday, during a bad storm, lightening may have hit the transformer near the Schneiders' home, sparking a fire, Such said.

"She was in a wheelchair in our bedroom which is far into the house," Schneider told ABC News. "And I was in there with her, tending to her. And all of a sudden there's this bolt of lightning, and I think the lightning must have hit the power in the house and blew the power out."

PHOTO: When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneiders Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.Bernadette Such
When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneider's Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.

"The light was out and yet there was all this smoke coming down the hallway from the kitchen," he said.

Such said her father guided her mother's wheelchair through the smoky house and out onto the front porch. But there are steps on the front porch, she said, so he couldn't take the wheelchair any further.

PHOTO: When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneiders Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.Bernadette Such
When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneider's Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.

Schneider then ran to the neighbor's house, which is at least the length of a football field, without his cane, according to Such.

Schneider said he doesn't know how he managed to run that far.

"I guess God gives us a little strength when we need it," he said.

The neighbor helped get Rosemary's wheelchair off the porch, Such said, and fire trucks then responded to the scene.

The Asheboro Fire Department confirmed to ABC News there was a fire on the Schneiders' street, but declined to comment further.

PHOTO: When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneiders Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.Bernadette Such
When a fire broke out at 90-year-old Arthur Schneider's Asheboro, North Carolina, home, he helped rescue his wife, Rosemary, who is in a wheelchair.

Such, who also lives in Asheboro, said her parents are staying with her now that their home is damaged by the fire.

When describing her parents' relationship, Such said, "There's no way they'll live without each other."

Schneider said he and his wife were introduced through one of his cousins. While he served in World War II, she wrote him letters. After he was discharged and returned home, they became a couple.

"They're just two people who love each other very much," she said.

The Schneiders will be married 69 years in October, Such said. They have nine children, 21 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

Schneider said he has a "wonderful family and a wonderful life."

But he doesn't see his actions during the fire as heroic, saying, "I don't see anything outstanding that I did."