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Buckley woman rescued from early-morning house fire

Two firefighters are credited with saving the life of a Buckley-area woman during a Nov. 18 mobile home fire.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue reported crews responded to a medical emergency at approximately 3 a.m. at a home in the 24100 block of 122nd Street East in Mount Rainier Heights, outside of Buckley.

Once crews arrived at the double-wide mobile home, they realized they had a different type of emergency.

Firefighter Brian O’Leary, one of the first on the scene, saw flames and heavy smoke visible from all of the windows at the front of the home when crews arrived.

Pierce County Sheriff’s officers told the firefighters the resident of the house had gone back inside.

Leary and firefighter James Parke quickly put on their gear and air packs, and began to battle the blaze. O’Leary, the incident commander, called for backup and found an alternate way into the house.

Through a broken rear window, they saw the resident. “The smoke cleared for a split second and I saw her lying on the bed,” O’Leary said.

Both O’Leary and Parke entered through the bedroom window and brought the woman out of the burning house.

The woman, in her late 50s, was treated at the scene for burns and smoke inhalation and rushed to the Burn Unit at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life-threatening injuries, East Pierce spokeswoman Dina Sutherlund said.

East Pierce Fire Chief Jerry Thorson said, although it doesn’t happen often, firefighters train for this type of rescue situation.

“They put their lives on the line to rescue her,” he said. “Their efforts were heroic.”

Within 20 minutes of responding to the call, firefighters were able to contain the blaze and keep it from spreading to other homes in the area. The home is considered a loss.

“The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined. However, it appears to have been intentionally set,” East Pierce Fire Investigator Capt. Brian Schulz said.

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