Firefighter responds to medical call, stops house fire

Medical call leads to stopping house fire

Early Monday morning, a Monroe County Firefighter was dispatched to a home on Blount Road in response to an "unresponsive person."

When he got there, he smelled a strong odor and realized there was a fire in the home's attic. 

Just before 4 a.m. on Monday morning, Lieutenant Ron Bryant pulled out of Fire Station Number 2 in Monroe County.

"It went out as a medical call for an unresponsive female," says Bryant. 

Austin Faulkner called 911 when he realized his 18-year-old sister, Celeste Chapman, was unconscious. 

"She was like not breathing, kind of spazzing out and having a seizure," says Faulkner. 

"There was a strange smell as soon as I walked in the door, and within a few minutes, I had a headache," says Bryant.

Lieutenant Bryant got Chapman safely out of the house and went back in with a gas monitor.

"The gas monitor immediately went off at a very high CO level. It was 184 parts per million," says Bryant. 

An electric fire had started burning in the attic, melting insulation and glue, and pumping out carbon monoxide. 

Chapman says she had 23 percent carbon monoxide in her body, but that odd smell in the house wasn't from the carbon monoxide, it was from the ceiling fire. 

"It's called the silent killer for a reason," says Bryant.  "You can't see it or smell it." 

"If we'd had a carbon monoxide detector, it would've saved us a whole lot of trouble," says Faulkner. 

Despite all the damage, Lt. Bryant says the home is still livable. 

"All I had to do was pull some sheetrock from the ceiling and extinguish the slow burn fire. A minimal amount of water was used. The only damage was from chasing out the fire," says Bryant. 

Chapman is still recovering from the carbon monoxide poisoning and says she is beyond thankful for Lt. Bryant for saving her life. 

Lieutenant Bryant says he's glad he checked the gas levels after safely getting Chapman out of the house. He says if he didn't, then he would've been back later to put out a much bigger fire. 

 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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