Update: Deaf woman saved in Albany house fire

Published: Mar. 5, 2012 at 4:49 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2012 at 10:39 PM EST
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A scorched wheelchair ramp and torched attic are the damage left by a fire on the 600 block of Louis Street on Southside that trapped two women in side.

61-year old Caroline Gaines has been treated for smoke inhalation and released from Phoebe.

The woman and her sister were in the home as a fire started on the wheelchair ramp. High winds blew the fire into the home.

Firefighters had to break a window to rescue Gaines, who was in a wheel chair and stuck inside. AFD says that her neighbors tried to help her first.

Clarence Haynes Battalion Chief AFD says, "We got a call to respond to 617 Lewis Street. When the first unit got on the scene they noticed heavy smoke and fire coming from the structure. We got a report that there were two people in the house."

One of the women escaped on her own but for the other it was not as easy

Haynes says, "The lady that they rescued she couldn't walk and she was a deaf mute, they found her in the bedroom and brought her out, and she had smoke inhalation."

The crew got the woman out But to the Fire Department's surprise they weren't the first to try to rescue the woman but couldn't fight the smoke.

"We had several bystanders before the fire department got here that attempted to make rescue but they were driven back by the heat and smoke."

"At one point of time I got to the point that I couldn't see like everything was smoky."

Jerrod Lewis is one that attempted to save the woman

Lewis says, "I just heard my Grandma yelling next door that the house was on fire."

So they broke through the bedroom window when they heard her cries for help.

Lewis says, "And when we broke the window that's when we heard her."

The streak of heroism he says came from those cries and knowing he should do what is right

"We heard the old lady yelling help and it wasn't any turning around we had to get her out of there no matter what," says Lewis.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.