Firefighters from the Dalton Fire Department rescued two people from a burning house early Wednesday morning. Both victims were treated at the scene and then flown by helicopter to the burn center in Augusta, Ga.
Firefighters were dispatched at 12:03 a.m. to a structure fire at 217 Griffin Street. When they arrived at 12:07 a.m., they found the structure on fire and forced entry through the front door while another crew ventilated the structure by cutting a hole in the roof.
The engine company found an unconscious male victim in the front bedroom in cardiac arrest. They removed him from the house and performed CPR until EMS arrived. At the same time, the truck company found a female victim on the floor in the back bedroom who was not breathing. Firefighters took her out of the back door and ventilated her until EMS crews arrived. Both victims were transported by EMS to Hamilton Medical Center and were later flown by Emory Flight to the burn center in Augusta. At this time, their condition is not known.
The fire started in the living room at the front of the house. There is heavy fire damage in that room and also heat and smoke damage throughout the rest of the house.
The Dalton Fire Department left the scene after investigating. The point of origin for the fire was the sofa in the living room. No physical evidence of the cause of the fire was found, but investigators did learn that the male occupant of the house was a smoker. Other potential causes at the origin point have been ruled out.
DFD Chief Bruce Satterfield noted that there were no working smoke detectors in the home. He encouraged Dalton residents to take this opportunity to either get smoke detectors for their homes or businesses or check to make sure existing detectors are working.
“When there are working smoke detectors,” Chief Satterfield said, “we find the people outside.”
Engine 1, Engine 2, and Squad 1 responded to the initial fire call and then Engine 5 was called in for backup. Chief Satterfield estimated that fire crews and EMS paramedics were able to get the victims to Hamilton Medical Center less than half an hour after the fire started.