Unsung Hero: Anita Cosby


By Ashley Smith
By Josue

CARMI -- A burnt frame and gutted interior is all that's left of the trailer the Frye family once called home.

"I've heard people say being at the wrong place at the wrong time, I feel like I was at the right place at the right time, said Anita Cosby of Carmi.

Anita Cosby stopped by the Frye's house to try and fix their flickering lights. That's when the family heard a loud pop and then saw their curtains up in flames. The fire quickly spread to the rest of the house.

"That whole day it was like angels were watching over us and Anita being an angel, she's an angel on earth," said Esther Frye.

Anita told Esther and her mom Gaylene to get out of the house while she went into Terry's bedroom. Terry is Gaylene's husband. He is disabled and needed help getting out of the house.

"I went in there and I told Terry I said 'you gotta get up, we gotta go' and he said, 'I can't walk.' And he said 'just go on,' and I said. 'I'm not going no where' and he said 'just leave me,' he said 'you saved my family now just leave me," said Anita.

"I remember telling her to let me die there, I remember that," recalled Terry Frye.

Anita's still not sure how she was able to save Terry from the fire.

"Terry was out, everything was ok, they were hysterical, and rightfully so." said Anita.

After saving two of the family's dogs, Anita's heroics didn't stop there.

"I said 'they can't go to a hotel,'" said Anita.

Anita was able to give them a home to stay in beginning the same day as the fire. Not only were they given a home, but a local organization called Pay it Forward Forever, or PIFF helped with household items, clothing, and food.

"We wouldn't have been able to get half as far as we did if they wouldn't have helped us," said Gaylene Frye.

The family is grateful for all that they have been given. Which makes losing almost everything a little easier.

Not everything was lost. Gaylene left her wedding ring on her dresser and feared it was ruined in the fire. Anita was able to find the ring while we were there and even took it to a professional cleaner.

"That woman is my angel," said Esther.
Marion Regional
Current: 68°
Partly Cloudy
High: 68°
Low: 54°
Wind: 9 MPH
Pressure: 0.00
Humidity: 43 %

What's on WSILTV Full Schedule