Man Rescued by Ky. FFs Perishes

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Firefighters rescued a bedridden man from a burning mobile home in Bardstown, only to discover he stopped breathing and they couldn't save his life.

The rescue happened on Cleo Avenue near North Third Street in Bardstown Monday afternoon.

The Bardstown fire chief said his firefighters had never experienced anything like this before. The victim's wife said she's actually grateful they stopped CPR.


"We were kind of preparing ourselves because of his health problems, but not this quickly," said Cheryl Burkhead, whose husband, Everett, died in the fire.

Everett Burkhead was bedridden inside a room of their mobile home when a fire started minutes after Cheryl left for a doctor's appointment, a short time before his hospice nurse was scheduled to arrive at the home.

"I had to take care of him like a child," said Cheryl. "He had 10 back surgeries, open heart surgeries several times, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, had to be on oxygen."

With billowing smoke raging all around him, Everett managed to push his life alert button.

His hospice nurse arrived seconds before Bardstown firefighters did and told them he was inside crying for help.

They brought him out of the burning home alive, but he quickly took a turn for the worse.

"We started CPR on him and then EMS got there and hospice advised us he was a Do Not Resuscitate candidate, so we stopped resuscitation efforts at that time," said Bardstown Fire Chief Anthony Mattingly.

Mattingly said EMS confirmed what the hospice nurse told firefighters, otherwise they would have continued trying to bring Everett back to life.

"It's difficult when you get someone out and start these proceedings on him and then you just have to stop. It's kind of rough on you, but we understand the wishes of the person and we respect that," said Mattingly.

"I'm glad they respected what he wanted them to do," said Cheryl Burkhead.

According to the initial information from fire investigators, Cheryl Burkhead said an electric cord might have been the cause of the fire.

She's living with her mother and said her family has been a tremendous help through the ordeal.

Firefighters Pull Man From Burning Home, Can't Save Him


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