Meridian Star

January 4, 2013

Two injured in early morning fire

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Two Russell residents are being treated for injuries they suffered in a home blaze that erupted around 3:45 a.m. Thursday.

    Allan Dover, Lauderdale County Fire Service coordinator, said the man and woman were transported to a Meridian hospital for treatment of various burns and then were taken to a burn center in Georgia.

    "They had already been transported to a Meridian hospital emergency room prior to our arrival," Dover said.

    Dover said the woman suffered second and third degree burns to 20 percent of her body, mostly to the head, shoulders and chest areas. Dover said the man did not suffer any outward burns on his body but did inhale some extremely hot air and smoke while inside the home. Dover said the man was being treated for throat and lung burns as well as smoke inhalation.

    Dover said due to the ongoing investigation he could not release the names of the two victims except to say they were mother and son.

    Dover said Russell, Marion and Toomsuba volunteer fire departments responded to the structure fire call at the home located at 2095 Highway 11/80. Dover said when firefighters arrived they encountered a wood frame home that was 50 percent engulfed in fire and smoke. Neither of the homeowners were on the scene when firefighters arrived.

    Dover said the cause of the fire is still under investigation but some unconfirmed reports he has received as to how the occupants may have sustained their injuries did raise some concerns with him.

    "I've not talked to the victims themselves but I've been told they were able to get out of the home initially without any injury to themselves," Dover said. "However, what I have been told since the fire is that the woman reentered the home to try and save her dog and the son went in to get her out of the home. That is when they were hurt."

    Dover said he understands how pets can become an important part of the family but he cautions residents to not put their lives in danger by going back into a burning home for any reason.

    "Dogs and cats have very sensitive respiratory systems and they are usually the first to fall victim to the smoke," Dover said. "Firefighters are the only ones who should be running into a burning home."