Off-duty officers, neighbors rescue woman from burning home

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

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KIRKLAND, Wash. - Neighbors used a ladder to save a woman in her 70s from a house fire at 115th Ave. N.E.

David Dodge, an Army veteran, said he rushed next door after his daughter heard screaming and smelled smoke.  He found his neighbor had made it out of her burning house but was stuck on an elevated porch shouting for help.

Flames shooting out of the house were 20 to 30 feet high.

“We just grabbed a ladder and some neighbors came down and helped get her off the balcony away from the fire,” Dodge said, who also got help from an off duty Kirkland police officer who lives nearby.  “We lifted her up, and basically made a human chain down the ladder, just kind of one rung at a time.”

“They basically saved her life,” fellow neighbor Steven Swedenburg said.

The victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center suffering from smoke inhalation.

The unnamed woman’s daughter said the house where her mother lived alone might be totaled, but she is grateful her mother will likely be fine thanks to Dodge and others living nearby.  She also believes a lit cigarette might have started the fire, though Kirkland firefighters are still investigating.