Two medical workers and a veteran rushed to the aid of their 85-year-old neighbor Tuesday after she was burned during a fire at her Central Point home.
Irene Jones was rushed to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening burns, saved from more serious injuries when neighbors pulled her away from the flames at 613 Laurel St.
Neighbors Albert and Devin Kyne had just returned from the gym when they heard Jones screaming for help about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday. They, along with Christopher Currier, another neighbor, rushed to Jones’ aid.
Albert Kyne, who works as an emergency room technician at Providence Medford Medical Center, said flames were rolling out Jones' front door from the ceiling, and Jones likely didn’t realize how quickly the fire was spreading.
Kyne said he shouted, “Get out of the house,” but she wasn’t moving quickly, so he jumped in to pull her away. Her hair caught fire, as did clothes on her back, so they quickly rolled her on the ground to put out the flames. He said everything happened “super fast.”
Fast action by the neighbors may have been the difference between life and death, said Jones' daughter Carin Drake, who lives down the street. She said Jones had recently undergone surgery on her toe and couldn’t move very well.
“She’s lucky she got out,” Drake said.
“I think God put us in the right place at the right time,” Albert Kyne said.
Devin Kyne, who works as a respiratory therapist, dialed 911 and assisted.
“It’s what we go to work for every day,” Devin Kyne said.
Currier, who lives nearby on Laurel Street, helped extinguish the flames on Jones’ hair and back. He said his experience as a veteran made him ready to help.
“You just react to it,” Currier said.
Jackson County Fire District 3’s response was swifter than usual, according to spokeswoman Ashley Lara.
Firefighters had been at Scenic Middle School nearby teaching seventh-graders a CPR Anytime class when they got the call. Mercy Flights rushed Jones to the hospital as five engines from District 3 and Medford Fire-Rescue responded to the blaze.
Crews knocked down the fire by about 11:10 a.m. The fire was determined to be accidental, caused by an "overloaded power tap," according to Fire District 3. The fire started in the living room and spread to the front of the home.
As fire crews worked to make sure the fire was knocked down, Drake held Little Guy, her mother's black Chihuahua mix. The mood of neighbors and the family brightened for a moment when Jones’ dog Buddy was spotted running scared through the neighborhood. But Jones’ other dog, Teddy Bear, is feared dead.
Currier said that where he’s originally from in California, neighborhoods aren’t as closely knit as this one. He said he was happy to step in.
“I love this neighborhood,” Currier said. “Everyone looks out for each other.”
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.