Woman dies after firefighters pull her body out of house on fire

Woman dies after firefighters pull her body out of East Knox County house fire

Posted:
The fire badly damaged this home on Hammer Road. The fire badly damaged this home on Hammer Road.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  A woman was killed early Friday morning in a house fire in East Knox County.

The fire broke out just after 8:30 a.m. at a house in the 7200 block of Hammer Road.

It took nearly an hour for more than 20 Rural Metro firefighters to put out the blaze, which left the home with extensive damage.

A woman inside the home was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

The two firefighters who rescued her were off duty and just happened to be nearby when the call came in.

Captain Scott Rogers and Matt Clift, firefighters with Rural Metro, were first on the scene, arriving in less than five minutes.

The fire trucks were not far behind them.

They assessed the flames and heavy smoke filling the front portion of the home.

Their first priority was getting the woman out, who witnesses told them was trapped in her bedroom.

"There was no question about the fact that Capt. Roberts and I were going in," said Clift, an engine crew leader with Rural Metro.

As soon as firetrucks arrived, Roberts and Clift entered the home to search for her, starting at the back of the house.

"Thick, black, violent smoke starting rolling out of the window," said Clift. "We had zero visibility. Couldn't see our hand in front of our face."

They worked their way forward, moving room to room, feeling their way, as fire rolled over them on the ceiling.

"We ended up finding the victim lying on the floor at the end of the bed," said Clift.

They handed her to safety out the window, but she later died at the hospital from her injuries.

A total of seven units were on scene and got the fire under control.

Rural Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish says the cause of the fire in still unknown. County fire officials are working to determine what started it.

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