Maryville resident severely burned in morning house fire
By J.J. Kindred | (email@example.com)
A 70-year-old Maryville woman was critically injured in a house fire at her Sevier Avenue residence near Old Knoxville Pike Tuesday morning.
Shirley Ann Shields was taken to University of Tennessee Medical Center by Rural/Metro Ambulance Service, and was later transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Burn Unit in Nashville, according to the Blount County Fire Department and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
Staff at Vanderbilt Burn Center said Shields was listed in critical condition Tuesday night.
Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with the Blount County firefighters and Rural/Metro, responded at about 8:30 a.m. after a passer-by saw smoke and flames coming from the house.
Fire Department Capts. Jerry Phillips and Tim Ogle, who were among the first responders, found Shields lying on the floor in a hallway and carried her out.
Three animals inside the home were also rescued safely.
Blount County Fire Chief Doug McClanahan said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but he does not suspect foul play.
“We don’t have any idea of what started the fire,” McClanahan said. “The other person that lived there left to go to work at 8 a.m. We got the call shortly after that point. Someone saw the smoke and stopped and heard (Shields) yelling for help. That was apparent when we got the call. We saw the heavy black smoke, and we had to take into consideration that this is going to be a bad one.
“We were on the scene in two minutes, and she was rescued out of the house in less than 10 minutes,” McClanahan added.
He said upon arrival, the fire was mainly seen at the back part of the house, which had visible heavy flames and smoke.
McClanahan also credited the Sheriff’s Office, who helped the firefighters pull out the hoses, and Rural/Metro, along with the firefighters, for their quick efforts in rescuing Shields and for their swiftness in putting out the fire.
“It’s definitely a bonus to have everyone working together,” McClanahan said. “They were aggressive to get in to knock out what flames they could and go on and get her out. I’m proud of those guys and the whole team that responded.”
The Fire Department also activated its HOT (Helping Other Teams) Team, which pulls two firefighters from each fire department in Blount County. They are called upon if quick backup aid is necessary.