Reverend killed in fire told son to save his wife

Reverend killed in fire told son to save his wife

(WMC-TV) – Family and friends are remembering the 91-year-old minister who lost his life in a house fire Wednesday morning.

Memphis firefighters got the call about the fire around 1 a.m. They responded quickly to the 1500 block of Sunset Drive in North Memphis.

With pain and pride, Betty Buford remembers her father, J.C. Sherrod. He was a father, a reverend, and a devout husband.

"He taught us about right from wrong, taught us about God, taught us how to love God and what we're supposed to do to make a life for ourselves," said Buford. "He was a true man. He loved my momma out of the 80 some years, 90 some years they have been together. He's 91, she's 89 and they've never been separated. They have 13 children and six living

Buford told Action News 5 her father had spoken to his son who came to rescue him from the fire.

"He told my brother, he say, 'Get my wife and if you can come back and get me, get me, and if you can't, don't worry about it, I'll be alright,'" she said.

Both Sherrod's wife and son escaped safely, but the reverend did not make it.

Hours later, firefighters went door to door to help others make sure their smoke detectors were working.

"Canvass the neighborhood, check smoke detectors, make sure they are working and if they don't have one, we'll install one," said Phillip Dix, Memphis Fire Department.

The fire department is installing smoke detectors for early warning with the goal of preventing the anymore fire deaths in this community.

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