ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) – Firefighters rescued an 85-year-old man trapped by billowing, black smoke at his home on Augusta Drive by taking him down a ladder from a second-floor window.
The man was admitted into the I.C.U. at a local hospital in serious condition.
“Fortunately, the room where the gentleman was located, the door was shut to that room, so he was somewhat protected from the smoke, although some did get in there,” Alton Fire Batllion Chief Tom House said.
Three other family members heard the smoke alarm and escaped, and were standing in the front yard when fire trucks arrived.
Chief House said the fire began in the basement, where the walls had been charred black. The rest of the house suffered smoke and heat damage.
“It looks like the Christmas tree and the presents were upstairs,” House added. “It looks like the top of the tree was burned, melted, but the presents were okay for the most part.”
He couldn’t say whether extension cords running from the basement to Christmas decorations outside had something to do with it. Investigators didn’t immediately determine a cause.
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