City firemen rescue woman from house

By Tom Joyce -

A Mount Airy woman is recovering from a weekend house fire in which she suffered smoke inhalation, but was spared serious injuries due to rescue efforts by city firefighters.

The Mount Airy Fire Department became aware of the cooking-related blaze about 10:10 a.m. Sunday at 149 Paige St., located off West Lebanon Street behind the old Blue Ridge Enterprises location in the vicinity of Mount Airy Lanes.

Phyllis King, a resident of the house who has limited mobility and requires assistance from a caregiver, had noticed something was awry. This was due to the male caregiver leaving something cooking on a stove in the kitchen.

That individual had gone out to buy groceries and forgot about the stove, according to Chris Fallaw, assistant city fire chief, the officer in charge during the incident.

“She was unable to get out of bed by herself,” Fallaw said. “She called 911.”

Firefighters who responded did not encounter much in the way of flames — but smoke was a different story.

“She could not get out on her own,” Fallaw said, prompting several department members to evacuate her from the house along with neutralizing the burning pot.

“We know we made a difference on that,” he said of getting King out safely.

She was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation and later released.

The incident blamed on unattended cooking might have ended much worse had the stove not been in the middle of the kitchen, but positioned under wooden cabinets, as in the case of many homes. This could have allowed the flames to spread throughout the structure after the cabinets caught on fire.

Fallaw also said it was fortunate that the woman did not pass out from the smoke, thereby preventing her from calling for help.

No structural damage resulted from the fire, but $300 in contents damage occurred.

Manpower on the scene numbered 11.

In addition to the Mount Airy Fire Department, the Surry County EMS was called there along with the Mount Airy Rescue Squad and city police.

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.