The Altus Fire/Rescue responded to a structure fire call Friday morning at 1220 N. Blain with occupants inside.
Upon arrival, they found light smoke coming from an open front door, with one of the occupants standing in the front door. Firemen were told that a woman was in the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom, they found a woman lying face down and unresponsive on the floor. The mattress was partially burnt and smoldering, filling the room with smoke, making first aid very difficult. They requested a backboard so they could safely remove her from the structure.
Altus Fire/Rescue had to remove the man from the porch, as he was trying to re-enter the structure. He was handicapped, so they carried him from the front door to the ambulance to get him out of the elements. The man told Altus Fire/Rescue Battalion Chief Jimmy Rogers the woman had a habit of smoking in bed. As Rogers exited the ambulance, he was told the structure was heavily involved in fire. He then saw fire shooting 25’ in the air from the windows of the bedroom where the woman was being treated. Rogers looked at the front door and saw Firefighter Drew George and Firefighter Beau Paul exiting the structure with the victim.
George was in the room waiting on a backboard when he saw the fire flaring up. He and Paul immediately removed the victim from the structure, and to safety, just ahead of the flames. She was loaded into the ambulance and transported to Jackson County Memorial Hospital for treatment. She was responsive at the time of transport. Captain Leander Thacker and Firefighter Jake Babcock advanced a 1 3/4” attack line back into the structure and extinguished the fire. While fighting the fire, a part of the ceiling fell on George, hitting him in the helmet and injuring him. He refused immediate medical treatment and continued working. Firemen also removed three dogs from the structure. One dog was administered oxygen at the scene, and the others were just scared. The fourth dog had exited the structure and was found in the back yard. Animal control took the dogs for safe keeping.
The fire appeared to start from the mattress as a result of smoking in bed. The fire caused an estimated $20,000 to the structure and $7,500 to the contents. There was no working smoke detector in the home.