East Oktibbeha County volunteer firefighters battle a West Sand Creek Road structure fire Wednesday. Firefighters and sheriff's deputies rescued the home's lone occupant through an open window. Photo by: Submitted photo
February 15, 2017 3:28:16 PM
East Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Greg Ball said timing and assistance from the Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department helped firefighters save a woman from a structure fire Wednesday.
First responders were alerted to a West Sand Creek Road blaze about noon. At the time, Ball said he and firefighter Chris Sartin were near the fire department running an errand when the emergency page was broadcast.
The proximity to their home base, Ball said, made the difference in their rescue attempt.
"If we weren't nearby, I don't think we would have been making a rescue," he said.
Ball jumped in an EOCVFD rescue vehicle when the call came, while Sartin drove a pumper truck to the location. Once on scene, Ball spotted the trailer's lone occupant hanging out of a small bathroom window as smoke exited the home.
"I grabbed a ladder off the (pumper), while (Sartin) suited up in case he had to go in through the fire for the rescue," Ball said.
As Ball was helping the victim out of the window, sheriff's deputies Tyrone Edmonds and Brandon Griggs arrived to assist.
"It was a group effort," Ball said of the rescue.
Sheriff Steve Gladney praised the efforts of all first responders involved in Wednesday's rescue.
"Thank goodness everyone got there when they did," he said. "These guys put themselves in harm's way all the time to help out. It's just part of the job, and we're glad she's OK."
Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said first responders treated the woman at the scene. The trailer was severely damaged, he said, and the cause of the blaze was not known as of press time.
"Trailers like that with metal roofs can cause problems with fires, because those roofs holds heat in and spreads the fire laterally," Rosenhan said. "Our guys got out there quick and knocked the fire down fast. We didn't do anything heroic -- those guys did what needed to be done.
"You're sorry stuff like that happens to people, but you're happy to be there and do something about it," Rosenhan added. "Another few minutes, and she could have easily been overcome by smoke. It would have been difficult to go through the fire and get to her."
EOCVFD was assisted at the West Sand Creek Road fire by the Bell Schoolhouse Volunteer Fire Department. Bell Schoolhouse firefighters were later diverted to a grass fire off Pat Station Road, and Starkville Fire Department was also dispatched to cover a wreck near the Stowood-Old West Point roads area.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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