PARKERSBURG - Five people, including a toddler, had to leap from the second floor of their Laird Avenue house to escape a devastating fire Thursday morning.
The four adults, one of whom is eight months pregnant, and a toddler were transported to Camden Clark Medical Center for treatment. Officials said all were treated and released.
Most of the injuries sustained occurred when the occupants jumped from the second floor roof of the porch, but some were treated for smoke inhalation.
Mary Ross, a next-door neighbor, heard someone yell for help. She looked out the window and saw smoke.
Michael Gray, a nearby resident, was walking by and saw a woman jump from the porch roof - about 10 feet off the ground- with a baby in her arms.
"The whole bottom floor was engulfed," he said.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Parkersburg firefighters work to put out a house fire at 1047 Laird Ave. Thursday morning. Four adults and a toddler were inside when the fire started. They escaped by jumping from the second story.
The Parkersburg Fire Department arrived just after 9:30 a.m. and Capt. Robert Wix said the bottom floor of the two-story house was awash in flames.
"There were flames from the porch roof up to the attic," he said.
Fire Inspector Capt. Tim Flinn said the cause of the blaze is undetermined, but officials determined it started on the ground level of the house in the living room area.
"We have conflicting reports so we're going to investigate it further," Flinn said.
Crews had the fire under control in about 10 minutes. The heat of the blaze melted the siding of Ross' home.
Eleven people lived in the residence, including six children who were attending school at the time of the fire. The other occupants had returned home to go back to bed after dropping the other children off at school.
Rex Hudson, Diane Hudson, Christopher Hudson and Austina McCartney and Mia McCartney were home when the fire started.
Sara Hall-Hudson, a relative of the occupants, saw flames from the board of education office and drove toward the scene. On arrival, she discovered the fire scene was the house occupied by her brother and his family.
Hall-Hudson said everyone in the house escaped from the second story. Christopher Hudson and Austina McCartney jumped from the porch roof. McCartney, who is pregnant, was clinging to her toddler, Mia McCartney.
Gray said he helped Mia McCartney to the corner. She was covered in black soot, bleeding from her mouth and couldn't move her arm, he said.
"She thought she was going into labor," Gray said.
Gray said the two women, a man and a child were on the porch roof.
"They said they were asleep. They woke up to the fire " he said.
Diane Hudson jumped out a second-story window, Hall-Hudson said.
There were no working smoke detectors in the residence. Flinn said fire officials can't stress enough how important it is to have smoke detectors.
"It could have been much worse," he said.