Pregnant woman rescued from Chattanooga house fire

Pregnant woman rescued from Chattanooga house fire

February 15th, 2011 by Staff Report in News

Chattanooga firefighters work Tuesday to extinguish a blaze at 1905 East 13th Street. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Staff Photo by Angela Lewis

Firefighters are crediting a Chattanooga man with saving the life of a pregnant woman when fire broke out in her home at 1905 E. 13th St., according to the Chattanooga Fire Department.

Andre Sharpe, 26, told firefighters that he and a friend spotted the fire around 1:30 p.m. and that a woman fleeing the house reported another woman was trapped inside, fire department spokesman Bruce Garner said.

Sharp told officials that he broke out a bedroom window with his fists, lifted the woman out the window and carried her to the front porch of a neighboring house.

The pregnant woman, identified as Angela Vasquez, 21, was taken to Erlanger Medical Center. She is five months pregnant.

Garner said the woman was being treated for relatively minor cuts and abrasions. Sharpe was treated on the scene by paramedics for cuts to both hands, Garner said.

The Chattanooga Fire Department got the call for the fire at 1:39 p.m. and responded with several fire companies. Most had been on another fire call near East Lake Courts, but several managed to get to the scene within six to seven minutes.

Garner said the house was almost completely engulfed in flames when the firefighters arrived, and flames were spreading to a neighboring house. Firefighters contained the blaze to the one house and saved the house next door. The house where the rescue occurred, including three vehicles parked close by, is considered a total loss, Garner said.

Chattanooga police said they received initial reports of a disorder at the house before a fire was reported. Garner said those reports may or may not have anything to do with the cause of the fire, which is under investigation by Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division.

The house reportedly had seven residents, including several children, Garner said. Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called to the scene to provide assistance to the victims.