House fire claims one life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

House fire claims one life

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December 6, 2007

Bainbridge--Three people were inside the house on Alabama Street as fire rapidly spread through the home.   Fifty-year-old Emma Foster was trapped in the room where the fire started. 

"That subject tried to get the victim out but the smoke was to thick, he decided to ran out, got the other subject they ran next door and called 911," said Assistant Chief Doyle Welch.

When firefighters arrived the house was already engulfed in flames, but family members still tried to get Foster out.   Foster's 20-year-old nephew was driving near by when he saw the flames he knew he had to do something to help.

He used the only thing he could to try to get her out, his car.  He tried ramming his car into the side of the house where he thought his aunt was.  Unfortunately firefighters say this only made it worse. 

"During the process he ran into the gas main going into the house," says Welch.The gas main, and the car then also caught fire.  "The roof was falling in, collapsing, There was no reason to risk firefighters lives in there for retrieval," say Welch.

Foster's family thought they could help her, but firefighters warn strongly against such actions. "You got to think there are 12-20 foot flames. Nobody could walk up without any protection and even get close to it," says Welch. 

Despite the destruction and the loss, others who lived in the house say they feel fortunate to have gotten out with their lives.  Firefighters say the fire was started by an old heating unit on the floor. Some of the wires had been spliced together. It sparked and caught the carpet on fire.

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