109-year-old woman shares story of surviving house fire


ROCKFORD, IL (NBC NEWS/WCMH) — At 109-years-old, Rockford, Illinois resident Stella Lennox has lived through two world wars, the Great Depression and the Titanic sinking.

Her more than a century on earth nearly came to an end two weeks ago when a fire broke out inside her home.

“I have a formula for living. You trust in the Lord, you give yourself a kick in the pants and get going,” Lennox said.

That formula likely kept Stella Lennox alive on Monday, March 6.

“It was the middle of the night, and my granddaughter was pulling me out of bed and I couldn’t understand what in the world she was doing,” Lennox told WREX.

It was 4am and an electric blanket had caught fire.

“When I got to the door I turned back and there was this flame going up to the ceiling,” she said.

Stella took her own advice from her formula for living and got going, and she credits her granddaughter’s husband, along with the Lord, for being able to to make it out.

“The good Lord was looking out for us because just the week before, the husband had gone and put new batteries in the smoke alarms,” she said. “If they hadn’t had an alarm, we’d all be burned to death.”

Everyone made it out of the house alive. Now, Stella is recovering from minor burns in the hospital, but she said it’s nothing she can’t handle.

“Hard work doesn’t kill ya,” she said.

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