Florida woman's life may have been spared thanks to a newspaper subscription.

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Not All Heros Wear Capes

St. Petersburg resident Pam Smith told the Tampa Bay Times she was perplexed when she heard someone frantically knocking on her door and ringing her doorbell at 3 a.m. one morning earlier this month.

Smith, 75, carefully approached her front door and heard a man shouting from the other side: "Pam, I'm your paper man, and your deck's on fire!"

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The Times subscriber opened the door and saw that her front deck was up in flames — and the fire was quickly approaching her front door.

Josh Herring, the newspaper carrier, immediately grabbed Smith's hose and began spraying down her porch. Smith soon joined in, and the pair took turns putting out the blaze for about 45 minutes.

“If you never stopped by, I might not be here today,” Smith told Herring. “I might not have my house.”

This Was Not His Typical Route

Herring, who has been delivering papers for six years, said he'd coincidentally decided to make Smith's house the first stop along his route that day.

Had he chosen to start his route in reverse, it would have taken the 38-year-old about three hours to reach Smith's residence.

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On Facebook, Smith said she only gets the paper twice a week, adding that she was fortunate the fire happened to take place on a Wednesday.

A neighbor's surveillance footage revealed that the porch had been burning for over an hour by the time Herring spotted the flames.

Will She Contnue Her Paper Subscription?

The pair said they plan to keep in touch. And Smith said she has no plans to cut her print subscription.

“Just to think, if I had never ordered the paper,” she told the Times. “I love the paper, and I will order the paper until I die.”

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