Woman pulled from burning city home

PARKERSBURG – One woman was rescued from her second floor bedroom in the 1200 block of Juliana Street by firefighters early Sunday morning.

About 6:30 a.m. Sunday, the Parkersburg Fire Department responded to 1209 Juliana St. for a structure fire.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Taylor said Lindsey Yearly, the occupant of the home, was trapped in the second floor bedroom. Firefighters arrived to find the rear of the house engulfed in heavy smoke. Rescue crews safely removed Yearly from the burning home around 6:35 a.m. She was treated for smoke inhalation by St. Joseph’s ambulance crews.

“The occupant was located in the front, second story bedroom and the entire rear of the house was on fire, blocking her escape,” said Taylor. “A ladder rescue is very uncommon and difficult, but there was no other option in this circumstance.”

Taylor said the 35-year-old Yearly reported to emergency crews she was alerted of the blaze by her 3-year-old dog, Casper, who died as a result of the fire. The dog’s barks alerted her to open her bedroom door, he said. According to reports, she opened the door and immediately encountered a wall of fire with thick smoke and heat. She closed the door and immediately called 911, Taylor said.

“There were three things that helped this young lady survive: the dog alerting her, an efficient 911 staff and aggressive rescue efforts by initial fire crews,” Taylor said. “Within another 60 seconds, the outcome may not have been as favorable, it was that close.”

The homeowner is Tracy Wilson of Florida. Taylor said Yearly recently moved to the Parkersburg area from Oklahoma to work in the oil and gas industry. She is currently being helped by the American Red Cross.

Damage to the home is estimated to be in excess of $100,000, he said. No working smoke detectors were found in the home. An adjacent house, at 1207 Juliana St., sustained about $10,000 in damage to its vinyl siding and windows from radiant heat.

“With the extent of damage, it appears that the fire was burning undetected for a long time. Our origin appears to be near the back porch area and we believe windy conditions may have contributed significantly to the fire spread,” said Taylor.

By Sunday evening, investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire, said Captain Tim Flinn, chief investigator with the Parkersburg Fire Department..

Fire investigators are asking people who might have taken photos or video of the scene right after the fire broke out to contact the department about letting them review those as well as any other information that might help.

People can call 304-424-8522 if they have information to share, Flinn said.

Staff Writer Brett Dunlap contributed to this story.