PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jeff Miller forgot to bring a pair of shoes for his weekend trip here from Olympia.
Tyrus Cox was shopping with his girlfriend.
Beverly Watson was waiting in her daughter's car outside the Burlington Coat Factory in Jantzen Beach.
They were all strangers.
Not after Watson's car caught on fire when her daughter was inside running an errand.
"As soon as I saw the car smoking, I instantly pulled over," said Cox. "I kept trying to open the windows."
"She wouldn't respond," said Miller, who also rushed over to help. "There were a couple pops and a crackle. Fire started coming out from under the engine."
Watson, 76, had apparently fallen asleep. Her hands were weak from chemotherapy and her legs were weak from cancer treatment.
That's when her daughter ran outside from the store, saw the car on the fire, and opened the lock remotely.
Cox jumped inside and pulled Watson out.
Miller picked her up and carried her to safety.
"Everyone was backing away. The whole front of the car was engulfed in flames at that point," said Miller.
"About 30 to 45 seconds after we got her out, the fire got worse," said Cox. He had difficulty breathing all night even though he was only inside the car for a few seconds.
Both men waited with Watson and her family for a brief period of time making sure they were okay.
So their lives continue.
Cox went shopping with his girlfriend.
Miller bought those shoes he needed.
And Watson got a second chance at life.