Firefighters worked throughout the night to contain and then extinguish the fire. Photo credit Margaret Fraser

Woman burned in house fire while trying to rescue cats

Princeton area home completely destroyed in nighttime blaze

A woman was sent to Princeton hospital Monday night after she was injured re-entering her burning home in an attempt to rescue her cats.

“She had burns to her hair and her hands and the back of her head because she had been going back in to try to get the cats, and opening basement windows so the cats could get out,” said David Stringfellow, chief of the Erris Volunteer Fire Department.

Tuesday morning Stringfellow had no update on the victim’s condition, but said members of his crew did notice some cats roaming in the area of the burned out property.

The home on Princeton Summerland Road – which consisted of a double-wide trailer attached to a single-wide trailer, was completely destroyed.

The fire started at about 10:30 and when firefighters arrived the structures were fully involved.

“When we first got there it was into the trees and the bush. It was our first concern getting that stopped and we got that taken care of pretty quickly,” said Stringfellow.

Neighbor Margaret Fraser spotted the fire and called 911.

“I was sitting watching the baseball game and I heard this boom and immediately out my window I saw this light,” she told The Spotlight in an interview.

“It was in flames and it was unbelievable. I was shocked and how fast it went up. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Hayes Creek Fire Department assisted Erris under the mutual aid agreement and there were approximately 24 responders on scene, four tenders and two pumpers.

Efforts were complicated by the nature of the trailers’ construction, said Stringfellow.

“With all that tin and tin roofing it was difficult to get at the hot spots so we will be working on that today,” he said.

“We had water going back and forth with four tenders until about 3:30 a.m. At that point we had the fire completely knocked down and it was just smoldering. We had two firefighters stay there the rest of the night on fire watch.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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