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Saltville fire destroys home; homeowner’s condition unknown
Flames engulfed a home in Saltville Friday morning, and the homeowner was airlifted to a hospital, but her condition remains unknown.
"I was woken up by someone yelling, help me, help me,” neighbor Carmelle McNew said. "My mother lives with me, so I thought it was her and I ran downstairs and I realized it was coming from outside. I ran outside and I heard the help me coming from down the street and then I saw the flames."
Betty Maiden, a passerby, said she saw the homeowner standing on the sidewalk, badly burned.
"Her face was black and her hands were black,” McNew added. “I thought it was just soot, but I later found out it was severe burns."
McNew called 911 while another Good Samaritan stayed with the homeowner. "First police arrived, then the fire department, then EMT came," McNew stated.
"When I pulled up on scene, the structure of the house was fully engulfed on the two-story dwelling," Saltville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jimmy Davidson said.
The Chilhowie Fire Department was called for backup, and the homeowner was airlifted to the hospital.
Chief Davidson explained putting out major house fire like this one can take a long time.
"After you get it put out, you still have to look for hot spots,” Davidson said. “We have a thermal camera that actually checks the wall and checks for heat on the inside of the walls or in the attic or anything."
The name of the homeowner as well as her condition has not been released by authorities.