An older woman using oxygen was rescued from a burning house Sunday afternoon in Caseyville, along with two dogs and a cat.
The woman was struggling to escape, according to the man who helped her get off the porch of 817 Hollywood Heights Road.
“She was disoriented,” said Steven Rader, who lives nearby on Hollywood Heights Road. He saw the smoke and the woman on the enclosed porch, and turned around to come back and help, he said. Rader assisted the woman away from the burning house, and she warned him that there were oxygen tanks in the house, so he helped her further away and called 911, he said.
The woman was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Her name was not released by authorities.
Hollywood Heights and Caseyville firefighters also rescued a cat and two dogs from the house, who were treated for smoke inhalation and comforted by neighbors before they were taken for further treatment.
Hollywood Heights Fire Chief John Grimm Jr. confirmed that several oxygen tanks were in the house, but said they had not determined what caused the fire yet.
This is the second time in two years this particular house has caught fire, he said; a year-and-a-half ago, a kitchen fire caused some damage, and it has since been remodeled.
While the house appears to have sustained heavy damage from the fire, Grimm said it is not a total loss. “it’s got a lot of cosmetic problems inside, but … it didn’t make it through the roof,” he said.
Neighbor Stephanie Schaefer said she was heading over to give the woman her medicine when she saw the fire. Later she was holding the cat, whose name is Milo, and giving him oxygen as firefighters finished clearing the scene. Another neighbor held one of the dogs, named Baby, who also received oxygen. They both expressed relief that the firefighters were able to rescue the animals.
State Park Place Fire Department was on standby while Hollywood Heights were working at the scene, Grimm said. At least 15-20 volunteers were present at the fire.