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Off-duty deputy saves Tuscumbia, Mo. doctor from burning home

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:00 PM CDT
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TUSCUMBIA, Mo. (KY3) - Miller County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Deputy Andy Wickham was out enjoying his daughter’s birthday Saturday.

They were in the car coming back from the pool when he saw fire coming from the home of a well known doctor in Tuscumbia, Dr. Paul Howard.

”Dr. Howard is pretty typically doing yard work, so I thought maybe he was burning some brush or something,” Wickham recalled.

But, the flames were coming from the house.

Wickham saw cars in the driveway, and worried someone was inside.

”He took the initiative to walk into a burning house and made sure my dad was okay,” said Molly Anderson, Howard’s daughter.

Howard was reading from his devotionals, and didn’t know his home was on fire.

”He was faced away from me when I entered the house, but he was faced looking out a window, sitting in a chair,” Wickham said.

Wickham got Dr. Howard out of the house just in time. Fire destroyed the home, taking with it 50 years of memories and sentimental items, like a 1947 Ford Coupe.

”Mom and Dad played the violin and piano together. Those things are gone, but we still have memories and stuff,” Anderson said. “So, am I morning that a little bit? Yes, I am, but I’m so thankful that daddy is okay.”

While the sheriff and Howard’s family do, Wickham doesn’t consider himself a hero.

”I’m glad I was able to help him, that he was okay,” Wickham said. “My line of work has put me in some positions where I’ve been able to do some pretty incredible things.”

Anderson said she and her family are forever grateful.

”I’m a woman of faith, so I know that everything came together the way it should, that Andy was put in a place he should be when he was and he was given the strength to do what he did, and I got my Dad still,” Anderson said. “So, Andy, buddy, I’ll fix you dinner any time, if you want to go out to dinner, any time, you just holler, because we want to be here for you the way you were here for us.”

Howard is living with family right now. His daughter said he wants to bulldoze his old home, and build a new one.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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