01/20/2013 – At 6:31 a.m. Sunday morning, a female caller reported to the Wood County 911 Center that her house was on fire and she was trapped in a second floor bedroom. The Parkersburg Fire Department was dispatched to 1209 Juliana St and the first engine arrived 6:34 a.m.
They arrived to find the rear of the house well involved with fire and heavy smoke showing. Rescue operations commenced and the woman was safely removed from the second floor at 6:36 a.m. She was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by St Josephs Ambulance.
The occupant reported to firefighters that she was alerted to the fire by her barking dog. She opened the bedroom door and immediately encountered a wall of fire with thick smoke and heat. At that time, she closed the door and called 9-1-1 from the bedroom.
“The occupant was located in the front, second story bedroom and the entire rear of the house was on fire, blocking her escape,” said Fire Chief Eric Taylor. “A ladder rescue is very uncommon and difficult, but there was no other option in this circumstance. Within another 60 seconds, the outcome may not have been as favorable; it was that close,” adds Taylor.
“There were three things that helped this young lady survive: the dog alerting her, an efficient 9-1-1 staff and aggressive rescue efforts by the initial fire crews.”
The home is owned by Tracy Wilson, of Florida, and occupied by Lindsey Yearly. The occupant works in the oil and gas industry and recently moved to the Parkersburg area from Oklahoma. She is being assisted by the Red Cross.
Damage to the home is estimated to be in excess of $100,000. An adjacent house, at 1207 Juliana St., sustained approximately $10,000 in damage to the vinyl siding and windows from radiant heat. No working smoke detectors were found in the home. Ms. Yearly’s three year old dog, Casper, perished in the fire.
“With the extent of damage, it appears that the fire was burning undetected for a long time. Our origin appears to be near the back porch area and we believe windy conditions may have contributed significantly to the fire spread,” states Taylor.
Fire investigators remained on the scene late Sunday morning trying to determine a cause.
This article was written by Chief Taylor