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A Saluda business owner went above and beyond to help families stranded in the ice and cold Monday. He turned his gas station by day into a safe haven for the night.

Hitesh Patel owns Saluda Truck Plaza. Two women, one who was traveling with four children, slid off the slick road in their cars, and got stuck near Patel’s gas station Monday evening.

Sarah Kelleher was traveling alone when her car spun out. She said, “I was just sitting there crying, because I was just really scared and panicky at the moment.”

The business was scheduled to close at 10 p.m. that night, but Patel let the families spend the night in the gas station lounge. He brought in cots for them to sleep, a space heater to keep them warm, and a television to keep them entertained.

Patel said, “I saw one of the girls. She looked like my niece. She lives in Lincolnton, North Carolina, so I said if that would be my sister or niece, then anybody can do it, so I said just leave it open.”

LaShea Colson, the mother whose children got a warm place to stay for the night, calls Patel “an angel.”

Her kids decorated Post-it notes to thank him for his kind gesture.