Odessa Fire Department's Tool Helps Rescue Elderly Victim 1/9/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
January 9, 2013
ODESSA, TX Odessa fire officials stated without the help of a small tool during the fire on the 4200 block of Redbud, it would have been difficult to rescue the elderly victim inside of the home.
The fire happened quickly around 5 am this morning and Odessa fire crews responded instantly.
"The front door, we had to kick it open," said Battalion Chief Danny Wyatt.
The house on the 4200 block of Redbud went up in flames; while 80-year-old Yuvonne Miller and her small dog were trapped inside.
"One of my crews was inside and found her. They did bring her out," said Wyatt.
Firefighters stated that her survival time was slowly fading, each second she was trapped indoors. But one important tool helped them find her quickly.
We use a thermal camera whenever the house is full of smoke. It just picks up the differences in heat, so we can find our way through the house. It picks up the body temperature. It helps us find people that are down off in the house, said Sr. Fire Captain Hugh Koenig Sr.
Fire crews said the fire started by a space heater located too close to an upholstered chair. However Miller had no warning of the fire, because her house wasn't properly equipped.
"Unfortunately she did not have any smoke detectors in her home and that's always a critical danger," said Odessa Fire Marshal Detra White.
Miller initially survived the fire, but her small dog did not make it out alive.
She is still in critical condition at Medical Center Hospital.