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EL RENO, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s said when a person loses one of our basic senses, whether it be hearing, taste, touch or smell, the other senses become more acute and heightened to compensate for the loss. You could certainly convince Sarah Ward that is true.

“She potentially saved our lives,” Sarah told me when I met her at her home in El Reno.

The “she” Sarah Ward is talking about is Jaclyn Dyer. Jaclyn happened to be next door to the Wards’ home one night.

Around midnight, Jaclyn smelled smoke. She went outside to investigate.

The smoke was coming from the Wards’ air conditioning unit. Fearing it could lead to a house fire, Jaclyn began pounding on the Wards’ front door. When Sarah’s husband answered, Jaclyn began tapping on her nose.

You see Jaclyn is deaf. Tapping her nose was a way of showing she smelled something and for the family to get out of the house.

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Jaclyn (facing) receiving a hug from Sarah.

Jaclyn and her uncle grabbed a fire extinguisher they happened to have and put out the smoking air unit.

“I was an emotional wreck the whole next day,” Sarah Ward told us. “Thinking about how bad it could have gone. My children in the house. Us not having smoke alarms in the house. Us not having a fire extinguisher. So, I was tearing up all day long, and trying to learn as much sign language to properly thank her for saving us. The next day I went and bought smoke detectors for the house and a fire extinguisher.”

Sarah nominated Jaclyn for First Fidelity Bank’s Pay It 4ward Award.

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Jaclyn (right) embraced by the family she rescued from a house fire.

When we surprised Jaclyn with the $400 prize, she hugged Sarah, signed and typed on her phone for us to see she is going to use the $400 for something special. Sarah read the phone message.

“She’s going to use it so her son can be home. His birthday is tomorrow! Oh my gosh! Yes! That’s perfect. That’s perfect!” Sarah exclaimed.

Then it was group hug time for a life-saver that paid it forward by “sensing” a neighbor was in need.