Occupant Rushes Back Into Burning Home

, Written by Jennifer Elliott, Posted: Mon, July 8 2013 at 8:36 PM, Updated: Mon, July 8 2013 at 2:59 PM

A life or death situation: A home catches fire... the owner escapes, but reports indicate he then runs back in for a last family member, their cat.

It's what most any pet owner would do: "I would definitely be that person who would dive back in there," says neighbor Bailey Rinehold. She would run into a burning home for her cat, Meatball... just as her neighbor did Monday morning. "I can definitely understand that and the fear that would bring about," says Rinehold.

About 8:30, fire crews were called to this home in the Bear Creek Mobile Park on Corral Lane near Ashland. "The house here was heavily charged with smoke. and the occupant was outside," says Fire District Five Chief Dan Marshall.

But that's when he confirms the situation turned potentially deadly:    As the homeowner ran back inside while smoke filled the home... trying to rescue his cat, a towel over his head to protect him...  "Don't go back in for a pet or possession," says Marshall, "cause that's normally when your going to get yourself in trouble. Your going to get heavier smoke and much more toxic gas the second or third time back in," continues Marshall.
The owner was unable to rescue the animal... but first responders broke a back window and got the feline out safely. "The cat's in good shape," Marshall tells us.

Despite love for a pet, officials warn: "Lesson learned here, stay outside, let the fire department get on scene, because we have protective breathing equipment protective clothing equipment," Marshall says.

No one was injured and the cause is under investigation. "When I saw them sitting out here holding each other, I thought oh, no, this can't be good," remarks Rinehold, speaking of her neighbors as they spoke with officials in front of her house. "But it's good to know no one got hurt."

Fire crews were called out to this same mobile park last night around 7, but the incidents are unrelated.

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About the Author

Jennifer Elliott

Jennifer Elliott anchors the primetime newscast FOX26 First News at Ten on NBC5’s partner station, KMVU/FOX26. She also reports for NBC5 News.

Jennifer began her career at NBC5 News in 2011 as a production assistant. Raised in Southern Oregon, she studied voice and piano while attending South Medford High School.

After graduating from Brigham Young University-Idaho, she returned home and added organ playing to her music repertoire. In addition to her musical talents, Jennifer is an award winning artist.

She has also co-hosted Southern Oregon’s Got Talent, the area’s premiere talent show. Jennifer is married and the mother of two young sons who keep her busy and very happy.

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