RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Two Rio Rancho teens who should’ve been in class ended up being in the right place at the right time. They kept a devastating fire from turning deadly. Brooke Curley, 18, and Sophie Shurter, 17, were sitting in the car outside Sophie’s house when they smelled something burning. They quickly learned a neighbor’s house, just of Highway 528 in Rio Rancho, was on fire.

“We heard like help, help and it was Mary, my neighbor,” said Sophie. They ran over to find Mary in her yard while her house was in flames.


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“That was pretty scary. and hearing Mary yelling for help. I never thought I would hear panic like that,” said Sophie. Mary’s husband and dog were still in the house. The two Cleveland High seniors didn’t want for first responders to jump into action.

“We had to go in the house to help him out. He was like about to pass out inside…you could tell it was getting to him,” said Sophie. The teens were able to help him out of the house before flames took over the home.

“Seeing the fire upstairs and downstairs. And there was something that like blew up while we were trying to get him away from the door,” said Sophie. “It was pretty bad.”

“She’s always had a heart for people in need. So, it makes total sense to me that she wouldn’t have hesitated…I’m in awe of them, actually,” said Kylee Shurter, Sophie’s mom. She also noted how she felt many people in today’s world may be more concerned with getting video or a picture of the fire for social media rather than springing into action.

A charred house frame and a burnt pile of memories are all that’s left of the couple’s home. “It was like hard to hear like how people have to recover, like how long it’s going to actually take just to get stuff like glasses, prescriptions, more clothes,” said Sophie. “It makes me feel like really bad. But, I’m glad we were able to get them out of there.”

Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue said the couple’s dog died in the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.