Stone County

She collapsed trying to escape her burning Stone County home. Her neighbors took action.

A neighbor rescued a woman who was suffering from severe respiratory distress while trapped in her burning home, Fire Chief Jody Hatten said.

Flames at her home on McCann Road had blocked her exit and she was trying to get out of a window and catch a breath of fresh air when a neighbor saw her, he said.

The suspected cause of the fire is a space heater placed too close to furniture, Hatten said.

The neighbor first saw smoke and then saw flames in the back of the house through the window about 6:10 a.m. Friday, Hatten said.

The woman collapsed as the neighbor got her out of the window, and another neighbor who came along helped pull her from the house, he said.

The woman was not burned but was harmed by inhaling smoke and hot air, Hatten said.

She was taken by ambulance to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Merit Health Central hospital in Jackson. Her condition was not available later Friday.

Firefighters found the woman’s cat in the house alive after the fire.

Hatten said firefighters put out the flames before they spread beyond one room, but the house had major smoke and water damage.

Fire units and 18 firefighters responded from Wiggins, Big Level, South Central and Magnolia fire departments.

The fire’s possible cause from a space heater should raise safety concerns for others with the return of cold weather across South Mississippi this weekend, Hatten said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews