Cause of house fire remains under investigation

PARKERSBURG – A Parkersburg man who tried to save a woman from a burning house Sunday morning said he never thought such a thing would happen to him.

Thomas Nedeff, 20, was awakened by what he thought was rain hitting the house, but opened his eyes and saw light.

He looked out the window and saw the house at 1209 Juliana St. in flames.

At the window of the burning house was a woman who was unable to get out because of the flames.

“I ran downstairs and told my mother to call the fire department,” Nedeff said.

He ran back to his room to put on pants and shoes before he ran outside to the house. The fire department had yet to arrive and Nedeff saw the woman in the window.

Nedeff ran back to his house to get a ladder and ran into a neighbor on the way. In the meantime, the fire department arrived and got the woman, Lindsey Yearly, out of the house through the window with a ladder.

“I didn’t think I would do anything like that in my life,” he said.

Nedeff is a 2011 graduate of Parkersburg High School and is joining the U.S. Navy in the delayed entry program. He reports in April.

The fire happened around 6:30 a.m.

Yearly, 35, was treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics from St. Joseph’s Ambulance Service. She was alerted to the fire by her barking dog, Casper, who was killed in the fire.

Yearly, who could not be located for comment, opened the door to her bedroom and was met by fire, smoke and heat. She closed the door and called 911, according to the fire department.

The house sustained substantial damage and investigators may be unable to find the cause, fire Chief Eric Taylor said. Chief Inspector Capt. Tim Flinn is on the case.

“It could be left undetermined,” Taylor said.