Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner rescues man from fire

Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 11:01 PM CDT
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NEEDHAM, Ark. (KAIT) - Oscar Quiroz owes his life to a man who happened to be driving on Highway 18 when his childhood home nearly went up in flames.

“I had just taken some melatonin,” he said.

The next thing Quiroz knew, the unthinkable was happening.

“I remember someone came in and told me, ‘Hey, you need to wake up. Your house is on fire,’” he said.

That someone happened to be Andy Caruthers, a husband, and father of four.

He and his co-worker had noticed smoke as they drove past the home. So Andy turned the vehicle around.

“If I can help in any way, I’m going to do it,” Caruthers said.

He busted his way through the front door, deadbolt and all, burning his arm in the process, all to save Quiroz’s life.

“It’s unbelievable that someone has that much courage,” Quiroz said.

But those who know Caruthers understand that this is just how he is.

“He’s a giver,” Terry Watson, Pastor of The Rock of Northeast Arkansas, said.

So what better place to surprise Caruthers with the Gr8 Acts of Kindness but the church where he serves as a door greeter?

“He, his wife, and children,” Watson said. “They stand at the door virtually every Sunday.”

One day, Caruthers was called to fix a windshield in the parking lot.

“Normally we hear about heroes who are in books and on TV, but today, we have a real-life hero right here,” Diana said pointing to Andy Caruthers.

“Oscar would not be here today if it were not for you!”

“I had actually passed the house and I just felt it in my spirit. God’s like, ‘Turn around. Turn around! And, I’m like ok,” Caruthers said.

“That’s why you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness,” Diana said.

“100, 200, 300, 400, five, six, seven, eight,” she said as counting the bills into his hands.

“Thank you very much,” Caruthers said.

“What a selfless effort and a Gr8 Act of Kindness,” David Daniel with First Community Bank said, shaking Caruthers’s hand.

Just days before, Andy’s son, Noah was hospitalized, like he has been so many times before.

“Noah has DiGeorge syndrome,” Caruthers said. “It’s also known as 22Q. He’s missing part of his 22nd chromosome.”

It can cause serious complications.

“The aorta, the vein coming out of the heart was wrapped around his esophagus and every time it would beat, it would choke him,” he explained.

That’s why Caruthers has learned what is really important in life.

“Talking from the heart. A smile is free. It doesn’t cost you nothing. And a smile can change one person who could be in the midst of suicide and you smile at them and say, ‘Have a great day!’ It didn’t cost you nothing. It could change their whole life perspective,” he said.

If you want to nominate someone you think deserves to be the next Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner, click here.