Quick action saves woman from burning - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Quick action saves woman from burning

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MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -

A Moultrie woman remains hospitalized with serious burns following an early morning fire. The victim would likely have died had it not been for a passerby and quick work by firefighters.

Firefighters were on the scene four minutes after they received the call. Little did they know someone was trapped inside. And by all accounts it appears the victim had literally been living in the dark.

The two story brick home was gutted by flames. Neighbors awoke around 5:00AM hearing the sound of a car horn blowing.

 "I was in bed and I heard the car blowing and I came to the door and when I opened the door, the flames were really coming out," said Mildred Nelms, who could only watch as flames filled the home across the street. "I knew the house was on fire. I didn't know who lived there. But the lady was down there just blowing, blowing, blowing for everyone to get up," she said.

That passerby driver may have saved a life. It's believed she called 911 after spotting flames from the road. It's a good thing because the woman who lived in the house was unable to escape.

"Firefighters found her during a search of the structure," Said Lt. Justin Cox of the Moultrie Fire Dept.  "When the victim was located, she was taken to the front yard and turned over to EMS."

44-year-old Mary Bryant sustained third degree burns to her body. But the rainy weather prevented a medical chopper from landing. "They called a jet from somewhere in South Carolina that transports patients and they met the ambulance at the airport," said Cox. "Bad for anybody to get hurt. Let alone in a fire."

The cause of that fire is still under investigation but we learned there was no electricity running to the home. You can see where the box has been stripped.

Right now though it appears a cigarette may be the cause. Bryant is being treated at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta.

The state fire marshal's office is assisting with the investigation. They ruled it accidental, but Moultrie Fire is still conducting interviews.

Aside from no electricity there were smoke detectors in the home. Firefighters say if you're ever in a fire, you should crawl under the smoke until you can get to an exit.

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