WORCESTER (CBS) — A Worcester woman was rushed to a hospital in critical condition after a fire broke out in her Kendrick Avenue home on Monday.
Neighbors said they ran into the burning basement apartment but were unable to get the woman, who was burned and had a broken leg, out. She was rescued by firefighters and transported to UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Ray Gibbs heard the screams for help, and tried to run into the basement apartment. The front and side doors were locked.
“At least I’m alive,” Gibbs said. “I went in and ripped the screen out with my fingertips and opened the window and climbed through and she was lying on the floor all burned and she looked terrible.”
Other neighbors joined, including a pregnant Amanda Hutchins who called 911.
“I’m just instantly thinking let me just grab her first, so I went to grab her and I asked her to like push back to help me a little bit. I’m six months pregnant so I need a little help and she said, ‘I can’t my leg is broken,'” Hutchins said.
“She dragged herself to where the fire was and then you can hear popping sounds of all the oxygen tanks,” said neighbor Jill Nadeau.
“I went to the living room where the source of the fire was and there were flames shooting out of an oxygen tank and I wanted to get it out of there, but I didn’t want to touch it with my bare hands, so I took the blanket it was laying on and threw the blanket on fire out,” Gibbs said.
Another neighbor used an extinguisher. After struggling for minutes that they say felt like an eternity it was firefighters who finally got her out. By then, the woman in her 50s was critically burned. Firefighters say that oxygen her neighbor threw out had fueled the flames.
“Now that I done it, I don’t think it was very smart to do what I did,” Gibbs said.
“It was quite scary to see somebody scream for their life,” Nadeau said.
No one else was injured.