Smoke alarms warned an Oakville couple of a fire on the second floor of their home early Wednesday morning. Neighbors joined the rescue effort to help them safely escape the burning home.
Grays Harbor Fire District 1 responded to the fire in the 2300 block of South Bank Road just after 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Kevin Witt said.
The homeowners have mobility problems and were unable to leave under their own power. Smoke alarms woke the couple in time to call for help, Witt said. Neighbors also reported the fire, which was visible on the upper story.
When District 1 firefighters arrived, fire was venting about five feet out of the second-story windows and neighbors and Chehalis Tribal Police officers were already working to bring the residents out of their first-floor room.
“With the teamwork of all those involved and our firefighters, we were able to get both of them out of the house,” Witt said.
EMTs from West Thurston Fire arrived to treat the residents, and AMR Ambulance transported them to an area hospital. Additional crews from West Thurston Fire, Riverside Fire and Grays Harbor Fire District 5 responded to assist.
“In the light of the day I’m standing here in awe over the extraordinary feat that the Tribal Police, neighbors and firefighters did to save lives,” West Thurston Fire Lt. Lanette Dyer said in a press release. “To see what effort they did to rescue people who were unable to rescue themselves. This is what communities do.”
The home sustained heavy fire damage in the second story and smoke and water damage to the first story. The Chehalis Tribal Authority will conduct the fire investigation. No firefighters were injured.