Good Samaritan loses home after helping neighbor

Sandra Rowe looks at what used to be her home.

An Horry County good Samaritan who tried to do the right thing ended up losing everything she owned in a fire.

Sandra Rowe was renting a mobile home in rural Conway. Last Thursday, a woman who lived nearby came running to Rowe's door, claiming her boyfriend was trying to kill her.

"That's when it was really loud screaming, it sounded bloodcurdling," Rowe explained.

At first, Rowe thought the sound came from an injured animal.

Then she saw the neighbor, who lived in a nearby mobile home, running up her front steps.

Rowe says she saw her neighbor's boyfriend following closely behind with a knife.

"I already had the police on the phone and he was kicking (at the door) and I told her let's go out the back door. And as I went to the back door, he had kicked the door in."

The neighbor hid in Rowe's bathtub. Rowe ran out the back door, followed by her neighbor's boyfriend.

Eventually, the man, who police have identified as Harry Lee Watson, 50, gave up the chase and ran away.

Rowe ran off, too.

She came back later to get her dog and a few possessions, then went to stay with a friend until Watson could be found.

An hour and a half later, her landlord called her with terrible news. Her house was on fire.

"He said, Sandra, it's burning up. There's nothing we can do."

Horry County police caught up with Watson. He's now charged with Burglary, Kidnapping and Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature.

According to a police report, Watson admitted to officers that he forced his way into Rowe's home, but denied having anything to do with the fire. Police say it's undetermined how the fire started.

Nonetheless, Rowe is left with nothing, but convinced she did the only thing she could.

"He was after her. So, what am I supposed to push her back out there and say go ahead and stab her to death on my front porch?"

Rowe is staying with a friend. She believes her neighbor is OK and staying with a family member.

Watson is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

A fund has been set up for Rowe at Conway National Bank. You can donate to the "Sandra Rowe for Fire Relief Fund" at any Conway National Bank branch. ã??