Chattanooga firefighters rescued a mother and her two babies from a house fire this evening. Schuyler Welch (18) called 9-1-1 at 5:41 p.m., saying her house was on fire and that she and her twin babies were trapped in a back bedroom.
The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to the alarm with several fire companies to 3909 Midland Pike, and along the way heard reports from the 9-1-1 dispatcher that the victims would be hard to get to because the windows were blocked by security bars.
Lieutenant Beau Matlock with Engine 15 said smoke and flames were pouring out the kitchen window when they arrived on the scene. Joined by firefighters with Quint 13 and Squad 3, the firefighters rushed into the house through doors from two directions, looking for the victims. Lt. Matlock said the fire was extinguished quickly, but the entire house was full of thick, black smoke.
Lieutenant Jim Dill with Quint 13 said the visibility was down to zero when they entered the house. While they began searching each room, Ms. Welch was still on the line with the 9-1-1 dispatcher, trying to offer directions that would help the firefighters find her.
Ms. Welch said she put blankets and other linens at the base of the bedroom door to help keep the smoke from getting in. She also wrapped her babies in linens to help protect them from the smoke. Moments later, the firefighters found all three in the bedroom.
The mother handed her two six-month-old babies to the firefighters, who promptly carried them out of the house and provided air from their breathing apparatus. Other firefighters then carried Ms. Welch to safety, and provided oxygen to her as well.
The victims were handed off to paramedics with Hamilton County EMS, who transported the mother to Erlanger Medical Center, and the babies to T.C. Thompson Children