Disabled Man Uses Facebook To Get Help During Fire

His wife used to hate it when Robert "Bob" Chambers logged onto Facebook to play games. How little did she know that social media would play a role in possibly saving his life.

His wife used to hate it when Robert “Bob” Chambers logged onto Facebook to play games. How little did she know that social media would play a role in possibly saving his life.

Chambers was logged onto Facebook playing the game Envoy while his wife was taking the grandkids to school. He noticed smoke streaming out of a toaster where a toasting pastry had gotten stuck.

The 51-year-old was unable to get up and run out of the house. He has muscular dystrophy, which limits his range of movement, and his phone was too far out of his reach to call for help.So he did the first thing that came to him: Ask his Facebook friends for help.

Chambers used a specialized computer mouse and on-screen keyboard to type “help me” in the chat room of the Facebook game. “My house is on fire and I can’t get out,” he said, according to The Spokesman-Review.

He said the host of the chat group wrote back “Are you joking?” and he replied that he wasn’t. A woman in Indiana and another player in East Texas both called 911 for Chambers, and fire crew arrived at his Spokane, Wash., home just 10 minutes after he typed his message for help, according to the article.

The 911 operators were skeptical, but decided to push the call through anyway. Chambers is lucky they did, according to the firefighters that rushed to his house.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the fire, which was contained to the toaster, could have been more dangerous had crews not come when they did, according to the article. “It definitely is a bizarre case, but it shows the benefits of technology for sure,” Schaeffer said.