East Palo Alto Woman Saved from Fire

As firefighters were deploying a hose line, they heard screams and pleas for help.


By Bay City News

A woman trapped in a burning apartment was rescued due to quick action by neighbors and firefighters, Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said Sunday.

The two-alarm fire, which started in the kitchen of a second-story apartment at 280 East O'Keefe St., was reported in a frantic 911 call shortly after midnight Sunday by a resident who said she and another woman had escaped but a third woman who couldn't walk was trapped in a bedroom, according to Schapelhouman.

As firefighters were deploying a hose line, they heard screams and pleas for help, and ran to assist a resident who had broken a window by wrapping her hand with a shirt, Schapelhouman said.

With the fire spreading and smoke filling the room, Captain Troy Holt entered the bedroom through the window and he and Firefighter James Lennon lifted the woman out to safety.

With the help of residents and other firefighters the woman was carried to a waiting medical unit for treatment, Schapelhouman said.

The fire "gutted" the two-bedroom apartment before it was brought under control around 12:45 a.m., causing smoke and heat damage to two other units and almost extending to a neighboring building, Schapelhouman said.

The fire's heat broke the windows on a similar unit 40 feet away. Structural damage was estimated at about $150,000, and another $20,000 to $25,000 in contents were lost.

A total of seven people were displaced by the fire, and five people were treated for smoke inhalation, including two apartment residents who were taken to Stanford Medical Center for treatment. Holt and another resident were treated at the scene.

The fire's cause remains under investigation but Schapelhouman previous indicated that an unattended pot on the stove was the likely source.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Tracy Holt December 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Thank God for my Husband Troy Holt! Merry Christmas!
Beatrice Karnes December 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Yes, Tracy, thank God for your husband! How many other lives has he saved throughout his career? How many Christmases will be celebrated because of him?
Christine Lediard Lennon December 28, 2012 at 03:32 PM
We are so proud of our son James Lennon Firefighter who helped save this woman. He has and will save the lives of many people in his chosen field of service. God Bless all who serve.


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