Police Chief, Resident Help Save Four From House Fire

Raceland (AP) An eastern Kentucky city police chief and a local woman helped save four people who were trapped upstairs in a burning house.

Raceland Police Chief Don Sammons said he arrived as Kim Gabbard was helping a woman and her 1-year-old daughter escape from the flames on Vine Street Friday morning.

Gabbard, of Worthington, had climbed up a small tree to get to the woman and the infant, who had stepped out onto the roof of the house from a window, Sammons said.

Sammons said he heard cries for help coming from the side of the house, which was fully engulfed in flames, and he saw two people in an upstairs window.

He reached them with a ladder and helped the two teenage girls down. "They claim in situations like that, you go back to your training and I guess that's what happened," Sammons said. "I just knew I had to get them out."

Gabbard, 46, said she saw the house on fire and the woman and her baby on the roof.

She said she climbed the tree, but lost sight of the two in the smoke. Gabbard hit a gutter with a branch of the tree and told the woman to "come to where the noise is."

Seconds later, "I saw the baby coming at me," Gabbard said. She grabbed the child and handed her down to another woman, Jerri Womack.

Gabbard said the woman on the roof then "kind of lunged" at her and the next thing she knew, both were holding onto the tree for dear life.

The mother, her daughter and the two teens were taken to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, Raceland Assistant Fire Chief Paul Smith said. None were seriously injured. The names of the rescued residents were not available.