Father: Son's Spirit Saved My Life
Man Says His Son Guided Him Out Of Deadly Fire
By Eric Flack
BUTLER, Ky. - Four weeks after a tragic fire claimed a 4-year-old boy, the boy's father talks about his efforts to save his son and the supernatural guidance that he said saved his life. Jamie Hughes said that he thought he would die, trapped in his burning house. He said he would have died had the spirit of the son he was trying to save not guided him.
For Hughes and his wife Christa, there is no escaping the tragedy.
Four weeks ago an early-morning fire destroyed their Butler, Ky., home and killed their son Billy.
Billy's parents said they were in the bedroom when they realized the house was on fire. Jamie Hughes said he told his wife to jump out the bedroom window, then threw two blankets over his head and started searching for Billy.
He said he was almost immediately overcome by flames, and at one point stumbling into a pile of burning clothes, disfiguring one of his hands.
"I looked at my hand for a split second and forgot about it. That quick. Because I had one mission in mind, and that was finding my son," said Hughes.
But as the inferno grew, Hughes said realized there was no way his son was still alive.
"I could hear everything. I could hear the house burning, I could hear the house creaking," said Hughes. "And then I hear this little voice."
He said the voice continued speaking.
"I hear this little voice say, 'Get out. Daddy get out.' And I about went to my knees," said Hughes.
He said he found a window, and punched it with his one good hand, but it didn't break.
"I hear this little voice again, 'Daddy get out.' The next time I hit the window it busted," said Hughes.
As he climbed from the burning house, he said he looked back one last time.
"I turn around and I see -- I see two shadows standing on the stairwell. One was my son and one was my father I lost two years ago," said Hughes. "That let me know that my son was fine."
Hughes spent the next three weeks in the burn unit, mourning his son.
"It's a hard thing to deal with," said Hughes.
He said he's not sure why he keeps coming back to the scene of the tragedy, other than the fact that memories are all he has left.
"I mean I know he's not here. He's in heaven with my dad and the rest of my family. But, I mean, it's hard -- it's home," said Hughes.
Investigators said they still haven't figured out what caused the fire.
The Hughes family has relied on the support of the community to get back on their feet. A benefit has been planned for this Saturday at St. Xavier church in Falmouth.
This article was published by WLWT on February 27, 2008 and was written by Eric Flack.