Resident critical after being pulled from burning home


Quick response likely saves woman’s life

By Andy Winemiller - [email protected]



Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in a home located at 1872 Westfield Road as EMS personnel treat Irene Faulkner Sechrist for smoke inhalation and burns in an ambulance at the scene.


Andy Winemiller | The News

Members of the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department scramble to fight a fire on Westfield Road Saturday morning.


Andy Winemiller | The News

A woman is in critical condition after being pulled from a burning home in Mount Airy Saturday morning.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Saturday, Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department personnel and other first responders received a call to a burning home located at 1872 Westfield Road, a single-wide mobile home.

Radio transmissions stated there was a person in the home, likely in the living room.

Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said Irene Faulkner Sechrist, 71, was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Health Center in Winston-Salem in critical but stable condition after EMS personnel treated the woman at the scene.

Sechrist suffered from smoke inhalation and burns, according to Shelton.

Bannertown Fire Chief Scottie Chilton said fate played a bit of a role in how things turned out for Sechrist.

“There were about 15 of us at the station for an event,” explained Chilton. “We received the call at 9:50 a.m. and were on the scene in 90 seconds.”

“The room she was in had significant smoke damage,” said Chilton. “She was breathing in a lot of smoke for a short period of time.”

The chief said had she waited longer for help to arrive as she breathed poisonous smoke, the situation may very well have been fatal.

That stated, fate wasn’t the only thing which had a hand in Sechrist surviving the incident, according to Chilton. Assistant Chiefs Jason Burkholder and Chris Baker were first on the scene and pulled Sechrist from the home.

Burkholder is also an Assistant Fire Marshall for the county and is handling the investigation into the incident.

He said though the cause of the fire is still under investigation, it started in a cabinet in the kitchen at the home.

Chilton added damage to the home is extensive, though he did not deem the home to be a total loss for Sechrist.

The Four Way and Franklin Volunteer Fire Departments and the Mount Airy Fire Department also responded to Saturday’s incident.

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in a home located at 1872 Westfield Road as EMS personnel treat Irene Faulkner Sechrist for smoke inhalation and burns in an ambulance at the scene.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_WestfieldFire1-1.jpgFirefighters work to extinguish a blaze in a home located at 1872 Westfield Road as EMS personnel treat Irene Faulkner Sechrist for smoke inhalation and burns in an ambulance at the scene. Andy Winemiller | The News

Members of the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department scramble to fight a fire on Westfield Road Saturday morning.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/web1_WestfieldFire2-1.jpgMembers of the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department scramble to fight a fire on Westfield Road Saturday morning. Andy Winemiller | The News
Quick response likely saves woman’s life

By Andy Winemiller

[email protected]

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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