GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis police and firefighters responded to a house fire Saturday night on Smithers Avenue in Gallipolis, pulling one woman from a home.
Officers Jason Lyons, Shane Plantz and Mark Still, of Gallipolis Police Department, arrived on scene to see smoke rising from the residence. According to police reports, Still and Plantz were the first to arrive on scene.
Still was told there was a victim potentially inside the residence and entered the home first, with Plantz partially entering the front. Still located the victim, grabbed her by the ankles and was able to position her before starting to pull her towards the door. Debris made it difficult to exit the building. Still had to clear the area before being able to pull the victim to the entrance. Neighbors Michael Coughenour and David Johnson arrived to assist officers in moving the victim to the front yard.
Officers spoke with the victim and she responded that she lived alone after officers called back into the residence to make certain there was not another individuals inside. Officers retrieved a First Aid kit from a cruiser in case CPR needed to be administered to the victim as well as other medical procedures.
Still, Plantz and Johnson carried the victim across the street and away from the burning structure. Officers split, a group going back to the house and another staying with the victim in an attempt to keep her talking and from passing out. Officers said her breathing improved once out of the fire, but was still labored. Medics arrived to treat the victim on scene. The victim asked about her three dogs still in the residence.
The victim, suffering from severe burns, was transported to The Ohio State University Medical Center by helicopter. Officers report that last they knew she was still in critical condition.
One officer was reportedly treated with oxygen for inhaling smoke from the burning structure.
Gallipolis Police Chief Jeff Boyer told the Tribune that the department was proud of how its officers conducted themselves in the face of adversity. He noted that two of the officers were relatively new to the force, while Still has been on the force for a few years.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.