A Valley grandmother and grandfather are thankful to be alive after their mobile home in North Phoenix burst into flames early Monday morning while they slept.
And they went back to their destroyed home Tuesday morning just to say an emotional thank you to the man who saved their lives.
Marcia and Bob Collier were waiting outside the remnants of their home when a newspaper deliveryman known only as Taz returned to his route Tuesday.
"It feels real good," Bob Collier said about the meeting with Taz, who preferred anonymity over celebrity and asked not to be interviewed.
"You know, it was really touching for me," Bob Collier said. "He saved my wife's life. That's what's important. I have my wife."
"He said he saw flames and was banging ont he door, but couldn't get anyone," Marcia Collier said. "His phone wasn't working, so he had to run across the street to wake someone up. He was a really good guy, really nice guy.
The Colliers said they were sound asleep when the banging on their door woke them around 5 a.m.
"Sounded like he was coming through the door," said Bob Collier, 66. "I thought somebody was breaking in so I grabbed one of my guns."
But this was no break-in.
Taz was delivering in the area of Bell Road and Cave Creek Road when he noticed the fire, then ran to the Colliers' front door to sound the alarm.
"I was sound asleep," said Marcia Collier, 62. "He saved our lives. If he hadn't been there and woken us up - we wouldn't have been here talking to you."
She said the fire traveled fast through the trailer.
"My husband got up first and saw flames in the living room," Marcia Collier said. "By the time he got to me, I looked down and the flames were going down the hallway. They went all the way to the bedroom."
Bob Collier said the family had two working smoke detectors, but they didn't go off until the couple exited the mobile home.
The Phoenix grandparents said their hero didn't stick around long enough Monday for them to thank him.
And the rest of their family wanted to thank him, as well.
The Colliers' home was a total loss. Bob Collier said they lost photographs, their marriage license and a photograph of when he proposed to Marcia.
"But we have the memories, and that's OK," he said as his voiced cracked with emotion.
The Colliers said they can't replace their family photos and personal items, but at least they still have each other.
The Colliers did have insurance and are staying with relatives who live in the same mobile home park.
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