Updated: Four rescued from burning home
By Dwayne Bremer
Mar 8, 2013, 23:22
Four people, including two small children, escaped a burning home in the Catahoula community early Thursday morning, thanks to an alert firefighter and a good Samaritan.
Hancock County Fire Marshal Brian Adam said Friday that Leetown volunteer fireman Mike Lee was headed to work about 4 a.m. Thursday when he noticed a home on the corner of Highway 43 and Sellers Place was on fire.
Lee said Friday that he and another motorist stopped, called central dispatch for assistance, and began banging on the door of the home to see if anyone was inside.
Four people, Justin Hayes, 18; Brec Hines, 19; and two children, ages one and two were inside the home, officials said.
"When we pulled in, fire was already pushing through the roof," Lee said. "We tried to see if anyone was inside."
Lee and the other man were apparently able to wake up Hayes and Hines, Adam said.
"I went back to my truck to get my gear and then we saw the man and woman come out with the children," Lee said.
Shortly after, he said, the home became completely engulfed in flames.
At one point, walls of orange flames and smoke were visible from several miles away.
"It was burning really fast," he said.
Adam said Hines and the two children both suffered from smoke inhalation and were transported to the hospital.
Hayes suffered smoke inhalation and minor burns to his legs and feet, officials said.
The children were taken to a hospital in Alabama and Hines and Hayes were taken to a hospital in Baton Rouge, officials said.
No update on any of the victims conditions was available by press time Friday.
The house, a two-story brick and wood structure, was almost completely razed.
The home's chimney collapsed while fire fighters were battling the blaze, but no emergency personnel were injured.
Lee, who is also the training officer for Leetown, said he only did what anyone would had done.
"When you are faced with something like this, you can't just drive off," he said. "I'm just glad they were able to get out."
Adam said the cause of the fire has yet to be determined and fire investigators will be trying to piece together what happened over the next few days.