Chase Henry, 22, was on his way to work when he noticed smoke and realized a house was on fire in Pea Ridge. Eva Simpson, 84, lived alone in that home and died at the fire Tuesday afternoon (July 30).
Henry tried to save Simpson by putting out the flames with a garden hose. In an interview with 5NEWS on Wednesday, he said he kicked down the back door.
"My undershirt caught on fire while I was down on the bottom," Henry said. "I threw that off, sprayed it down, put down my other shirt and just tried to cover my face and keep spraying."
Henry suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns trying to rescue Simpson. He said he's lucky his injuries weren't worse.
"I really wasn't thinking. It was a matter of taking care of somebody," Henry said.
Henry was treated for his injuries when firefighters arrived and then transported to the hospital.
"It wasn't until I was in the hospital that I found out that Mrs. Simpson had died in the fire, which was upsetting," Henry said. "I did all I could to help her."
Deputy Keshia Guyll of the Benton County Sheriff's Office said she admires his bravery.
"There are heroes in our communities, and they don't even think they are heroes," Guyll said. "He didn't think he did anything. He was thanking me, thanking us."
"I have a thousand people that I'd like to thank more," Henry said. "But I'm not a hero."
Henry said he didn't know Eva Simpson personally, but he would wave at her when he drove to work along Highway 94 in Benton County. However, he said she's been on his mind since the fire.
"If she was looking down on me, she would have seen I did all I could to help her before she passed away," Henry said.