70-year-old woman, teen with special needs rescued from house fire

A 70-year-old woman with disabilities and a 15-year-old girl with special needs were rescued from a fire Thursday night at their Paulding County home.

Their family members were able to escape, but the two were still trapped inside when fire crews arrived at the home on Hillside Drive about 6:30 p.m. Flames were already shooting into the attic, Paulding County fire officials said.

A neighbor was the first to see the heavy black smoke pouring from the home, according to fire spokesman Lt. Steve Mapes. One of the residents noticed the fire on his stove about two minutes after the neighbor’s initial 911 call, and he also called for help, Mapes said.

Credit: Paulding County Fire and Rescue

Credit: Paulding County Fire and Rescue

The first fire crew to arrive immediately launched operations to rescue the woman and the teenage girl, he said. The 15-year-old was found first, and Paulding County sheriff’s deputies were able to perform first aid while crews continued their search for the woman.

She was found on a second sweep of the home with the help of two more arriving fire crews. They helped the woman out of a rear bedroom using a ladder, Mapes said.

“Both victims suffered smoke inhalation but no life-threatening burns or injuries,” he said in a news release.

They were stable when they were taken to Wellstar Paulding Hospital, he said. No firefighters or sheriff’s deputies were injured.

“Although still under investigation, the preliminary cause appears to have been a grease or cooking fire originating in the kitchen,” Mapes said.

The fire gutted the home. The family is receiving assistance with temporary housing and other necessities from the American Red Cross of Georgia, according to Paulding authorities.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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