A Middletown woman is fighting for her life after firefighters rescued her Wednesday from a burning apartment building. Search crews battled smoke and flames to reach the woman, who was trapped on the second floor, according to fire officials.
“The victim had life threatening injuries when we removed her from the building,” said Brent Dominy, Middletown Deputy Fire Chief. “Dispatch was talking to the victim while we were searching the second floor. She became unconscious at some point in time, but dispatch could still hear us working and were telling us we were getting closer to the victim.”
Officials have not released the name of the woman, but fire officials said she is in critical condition after suffering burns on 30 percent to 40 percent of her body.
More than a dozen firefighters responded to an apartment in the 2300 block of South Sutphin Street at Midtonia Village apartments around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday.
“The damage is extensive,” Dominy said. “There is a total burn out of the first floor and partial burn out of the second floor.”
Dominy estimates damages to the building at $100,000 and $10,000 for contents. The apartment next door had smoke damage, “but the fire did not extend past the unit of origin,” he said.
Neighbors said they saw flames shooting out the windows.
“We saw them pull her out and put her on the gurney,” said Tiffany Childers, a neighbor. “She just looked so lifeless, she looked so burnt…”
The 30-year-old woman was rushed to Atrium Medical Center and then flown to Miami Valley Hospital, according to Middletown firefighters.
A second woman and a young girl were also in the apartment building when the fire broke out but escaped before firefighters arrived, according to Dominy.
Middletown fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire, and the State Fire Marshal’s office is also helping with the investigation.
Rachel Blair lives in the building adjacent to the fire. She called 911 after seeing smoke billowing from the house.
“Black smoke coming out of the house,” she said. “It really freaked me out because I wanted to go in there and get her. I started to cry because I couldn’t go in there and save her. I’m glad they came real quick to get her out.”
Dominy credited rescue crews for their efforts Wednesday morning.
“Our crews did a great job. They took a pretty good beating to find the victim and get her removed,” he said.
At least six fire trucks responded to the fire. Monroe and Madison Twp. fire squads also assisted.
Curt Isakson is a 35 year veteran of the fire service. Curt is currently a Battalion Chief for Escambia County Fire Rescue. Previously worked 9 years with the Pensacola Fire Department where he was assigned as the Company Officer on Rescue 31. Curt’s fire service experiences started at a young age as a Junior firefighter with the Midway Fire Protection District and rose through the ranks to Captain. He has worked in volunteer, career, and combination departments.
Curt has held all ranks up to Battalion Chief and been assigned to operations, training, inspections, and was Chief of Special Operations for 7 years. Curt owns and operates County Fire Tactics that covers a very diverse range of fire service topics, as well as Firefighter Rescues, a site that documents rescues made by firefighters around the country.
He has annual contracts with numerous departments to provide standardized monthly training for these departments that respond daily together under an automatic aid agreement. Curt teaches nationally to include; FDIC, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, Orlando Fire Conference, Atlanta Fire Conference, Bowling Green State University, and owns/operates the annual HROC, COBC, WOTF, CFT ODP on Pensacola Beach. He is a Florida Certified Fire Officer, Instructor, Inspector, Arson, and FLUSAR.