Woman's sleepless night saves 15 people

Kiawah Island Golf Resort destroyed by fire

Published  9:41 AM HST Nov 30, 2012
Kiowah fire

An Upstate woman’s sleepless night likely saved the lives of more than a dozen relatives.

John and Donna Jolly were staying at a rental home at Kiawah Island Golf Resort earlier this month along with 13 relatives who were attending a wedding.

While nearly everyone slept, fire crept from the chimney into the walls.

But Donna Jolly says she was having hot flashes.

"I've always been hot natured -- very hot natured -- so when a room is very warm, it bothers me," she said.

"I looked out the window and saw the smoke and said 'Oh, my gosh!'" she said. "(I was) just opening those doors and just saying to whoever was in the room, 'Get up, get up, get out!'"

Ironically, her husband is a commissioner for the Wade Hampton Fire and Sewer District, so he’s familiar with fire, but that night, he got to see it first-hand.

He said, "The scene was just yelling -- people grabbing whatever and just running back and forth."

But every person got out in time.

The $4 million rental home and all their possessions were destroyed, but one item made it through the fire – Donna’s Bible.

"You can still see the pages intact, still wet," she said.  "It's burned, but it's still His word."

If you ask the Jollys what they are thankful for this holiday season, the answer is pretty clear.

"I would just have to say I was lucky to have this little lady with me," John Jolly said.

His wife laughed and said, "I'm thankful for my hot flashes."

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