Caretaker rescues disabled man from burning bed

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A busy morning for Richmond firefighters, as they battle three fires. In two of the three fires, it appears smoke detectors were not in the home.

But in the third home, it was a smoke detector that alerted a caretaker that a disabled man was in a burning bed.

Just by looking at the home on Riverside Drive, you wouldn't think a fire ripped through a paraplegic's bedroom. Caretaker Roslyn McCall didn't think anything was wrong either when she arrived this morning.

"When I went into the house, I heard the smoke detector going off and the wife running in a panic," says McCall.

Smoke detectors in the bedroom led the two to the disabled man's room. "We actually had to drag him to a safe place in the house."

The whole time, Roslyn kept thinking about keeping him alert and out of the burning room. "I just kept asking him if he was okay and I was just afraid he was going to go into shock," says Roslyn.

He didn't, and he's lucky to be alive. Firefighters say there was heavy smoke inside the home when they arrived and in the smoke, they found the disabled man in the hallway.

"Firefighters did find that individual on the floor and we were able to bring him out," says Lt. Shawn Jones with the Richmond Fire Department.

Investigators determined the fire to be caused by the man smoking in the bed. "They had a working smoke alarm in the bedroom and it was probably the key that saved his life."

That and some quick thinking by a life-saver.

"Thank God I was able to be there at the time that I got there to bring him to safety," says McCall.

If you do not have a smoke detector in your home, all of the Metro Richmond Fire Departments will actually give them out and install them in your home for free. For more information, call (888) 537-5967.

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