December 2nd, 2010
Two people suffered smoke inhalation while trying to save a woman critically injured in a house fire that has been blamed on careless smoking.
The fire happened just after 4:00 p.m. Wednesday on south Oak, near the intersection of Seneca and MacArthur.
Investigators said a woman was smoking a cigarette and then fell asleep. The cigarette caught her chair on fire. The woman died at the hospital.
Neighbors called 911 while a group of people tried to get inside to save the woman who authorities say is in her 50s. Two people suffered smoke inhalation while trying to get inside. One was transported to the hospital, the other refused treatment.
"Tried to get in there but it was just so smoky," said Ron Jenkins.
"Apparently they were trying to help rescue her, and were unsuccessful," said Wichita Fire Battalion Chief Robert Wolfe.
Firefighters say they found the woman unresponsive in a hallway of the home in very critical condition.
Crews also found a cat that they were able to revive.
"It was turned over to animal control for now, and so far it's alive and doing a little bit better," said Wolfe.
Now, nearby residents say they're hoping for good news about their neighbor, the woman they tried to enter a burning home to save.
"I figured she was probably in there, and tried to get in there and help, try to get her out of there," said Jenkins.
A house fire in South West Wichita has sent three people to the hospital with injuries. One woman was critically hurt.
Just after 4:00 p.m., firefighters were called to a house fire in the 4500 Block of South Oak.
When crews arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the home. The fire has since been put out.
One woman was sent to Via Christi Health on St. Francis in very critical condition with burns over a large portion of her body.
Two other people suffered less serious injuries.
Check back for more as it becomes available.