LAGRANGE — Stopped by smoke from rescuing his neighbor from a fire in her home about 4:45 p.m. Monday, Tim Thompson remembered a boyhood lesson.
“You’ve got to crawl down low,” Thompson said as he stood outside neighbor Sheryl Bailey’s 241 Forest St. home. “You could breathe then. I got right up to her and pulled her out.”
Bailey, who Thompson said is in her 60s, suffered smoke inhalation, Fire Chief James Rader said. She was listed in fair condition at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center on Monday night, said Kristen Kutina, a hospital spokeswoman.
Thompson said he was watching television in his home across the street from Bailey’s home off North Center Street (state Route 301) when he heard neighbors screaming and saw smoke coming from the home. Thompson said he ran to the attached garage on the east side of the home along with Shari Tucker, his sister. Tucker lives next door to Bailey at 237 Forest St.
Thompson and Tucker said they could hear Bailey yelling from inside the home. Bailey had fallen on her side as she tried to maneuver her wheelchair down a ramp from the house to the garage.
Thompson said he dragged Bailey about 10 yards to the garage where he and Tucker helped her into a second wheelchair and rolled her out of the garage.
Firefighters, called at 4:48 p.m., arrived at 4:53 p.m. to find flames shooting from the front door and smoke coming from the rear windows, Rader said. Firefighters attacked through the front door and contained the fire about 5:15 p.m. No one was hurt fighting the fire.
Rader said the fire in the single-story, wood-framed home is believed to have begun in the living room. The cause was undetermined Monday but is not believed to be suspicious.
The fire caused about $50,000 in structural damage. The 1,284-square-foot home, built in 1949, has a total market value of $102,180, according to the Lorain County auditor’s website. Rader credited Thompson and Tucker with saving Bailey’s life.
“I was going in, no matter what,” Thompson said. “Sherry’s been our neighbor for ages.”