TOP PHOTO: Firefighters with the La Follette Fire Department continued working the house after all visible fire was out on Thursday evening. “We’re working the attic and other hot spots, because if we don’t, it’ll rekindle later tonight,” said LFD Captain Johnny Seal.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – “Blue kept wanting out of the house, and when I let him out, he ran next door. I followed and saw that the house was on fire,” said Ken Treadway. Treadway, barefooted and shirtless, flagged down a car to call 911 as he ran up onto the porch of the burning home at 309 East Prospect Street.
Jerry Allen, who lives directly across the street, came to help. A woman was screaming she could not get the front door open, according to Treadway. “I kicked it twice before I could get it open,” he said. A younger woman, the daughter, came out of the house and went back inside. “I went in and felt for the other woman, her mother. The fire was so hot and the smoke was unbearable. With Jerry’s help, we got them out on the front porch and took them across the street to Jerry’s front yard,” said Treadway.
Though the men were able to get the women out of the burning home, they were not able to rescue the women’s dog. It died in the fire, according to Treadway.
“When I rolled up in front of the house, I had to keep going another 20 feet or so, because the heat was so intense. I knew if I didn’t it would melt the fire truck,” said LaFollette Fire Department Capt. Johnny Seal. The home was fully involved with flames shooting 20 feet into the air, Seal said. The call came in to La Follette’s 9-1-1 center at 7:21pm.
Both women were transported by Campbell County EMS to the La Follette Medical Center. They were soon airlifted by two separate medical helicopters and taken to a Knoxville hospital.
“Given the severity of the injuries, I’m calling in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation first thing Friday morning. They’ll handle the investigation,” said LFD Chief Jimmy Pack. The chief said “we’re not sure what started the fire, and the TBI will help us determine that.” “It was a bad day in La Follette today,” said the chief.
In addition to LFD’s “A” Shift and several off duty firefighters and CC EMS, La Follette Police, LUB and the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office responded.
“I knew we’d be doing overhaul for quite a while to make sure the structure didn’t flame back up,” said Chief Pack. The last firefighters cleared the scene at five minutes before 10pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/29/2022-9PM)