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Neighbors, off-duty firefighter rescue woman from burning house in Georgetown

Woman hospitalized with serious injuries; Community plans fundraiser to help
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Posted at 7:59 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 23:14:23-05

GEORGETOWN, Ohio — Neighbors in Brown County risked their safety and sprung into action to rescue an unconscious woman trapped inside a burning house on Tuesday.

In dramatic video streamed live on Facebook, neighbor Jerry James can be seen approaching a house on Cherry Street engulfed in flames.

James and an off-duty volunteer firefighter, Ryan Passet, are later seen helping the woman out of the burning house before fire crews prepare to rush her to an area hospital.

"Rotate people around, get the right people in the right spots -- we work together as a team, you're standing next to people you don't know and haven't trained with," Passet said.

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Neighbors and an off-duty firefighter raced to save an unconscious woman trapped inside a burning home in Georgetown, Ohio.

The Georgetown volunteer firefighter had seen the dispatch notification when he was at a parts store two blocks away and rushed to Cherry Street to find the blaze. He didn't have any gear with him, and no air pack, either.

“Recognized the address, knew right where it was," he said. "Drove in the direction thinking I could get their first.”

Georgetown Fire Chief Joe Rockey said the woman was transported to UC Medical Center by helicopter in critical condition. The woman who was trapped suffered significant burns to her arms, upper torso and back. Another woman inside at the time was able to make it out, but did suffer from burns on her hands.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal's office. Officials said the cause does not appear to be suspicious, and investigators will be back at the scene Wednesday. The house is a total loss.

Lori Maloney, who works with the woman at a local rehabilitation and healthcare center, said she's joining forces with others to help the family on its road to recovery.

Lori Maloney
Lori Maloney, a friend and coworker of a woman rescued from a burning Georgetown house on Feb. 2, says a fundraiser later this month will help the woman and her family on the road to recovery.

"She’s fun, bubbly. She’s good with the patients. She loves her job, loves taking care of people. She’s really been there a long time. I have also. We became really good friends," Maloney told WCPO.

To return that love of caring for others, the community is invited to a fundraiser for the woman and her family on Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at Community Bowling Lanes, 702 Mt. Orab Pike. Neighbors can stop by the bowling alley anytime and drop items off, or come that day and bring items with them. Monetary donations will be sent to an account for the woman and her family.

“We're hoping when the day comes, she can come home, she'll have an apartment or something to come home to, with everything furnished," Maloney said.

As for Tuesday's rescue, Passet said the neighborly help is a very important part of Georgetown.

"That’s one thing that’s great about this community," he said. "They always step up and are there for each other.”