By Heather Mullinix
Two Cumberland County citizens are being hailed as heroes by the Cumberland County Fire Department for their efforts to help a woman escape a fire in her home Thursday morning.
The woman was flown to Vanderbilt with burn injuries. The Cumberland County Fire Department declined to identify the woman pending notification of family.
At about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, a 911 call was placed reporting a structure fire with possible entrapment on Hwy. 70 N just north of the Crossville Flea Market. In the short time between that call and fire department personnel arriving on scene, two motorists saw the burning building and three children running around and stopped to help.
"They saved the lady's life," said Kenny Kilgore, assistant county fire chief.
They are Brince Treadway and Stanley Walker.
Treadway said, "Anybody would have stopped to help."
When they stopped, they did not know a woman was still inside the structure, and were rounding up the three children, ages 2, 3 and 6, to keep them from re-entering the building.
Treadway said he heard a woman voice coming from inside. He and Walker walked around the building and Kilgore said they told firefighters they saw her arm waving from a small window. A ladder was leaning against the building and they helped her climb to safety.
When firefighters arrived, the structure was fully involved. Cause of the fire is not yet known, and investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department were called to scene.
The injured woman's boyfriend refused treatment by EMS for minor bruises. The children were not injured. Two of the children, ages 2 and 6, were staying at the home for the day, and their guardian was called to the scene. The Cumberland County Chapter of the American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the family, which includes a three-year-old boy there during the fire and a 12-year-old daughter.
The structure was a total loss.
Kilgore said firefighter response was good, providing plenty of manpower. In addition to the Cumberland County Main Station, personnel also responded from the Genesis Rd. station and Pleasant Hill station.