Teen trapped in burning house critically injured



LACEY, Wash. - A Lacey teen is in critical condition after firefighters pulled his unconscious body from a house engulfed in flames.


According to Lacey Fire Chief Steve Brooks, fire crews responded around 1 a.m. Thursday to reports of a building in the 5800 block of 18th Avenue Southeast that was heavily involved in fire with a person possibly trapped inside.


When crews arrived, they found two teenage boys on the front porch of a house who said a third boy was trapped in a bedroom.


Firefighters braved the flames to rescue the teen.


“It can be fairly scary, but the big deal is that there's a person in there.  We've got to get in there.  We’ve got to get that person out.  That’s the really, really big deal,” said Lacey Fire Department Battalion Chief Bob Petersen.


Brooks said firefighters found an unconscious teenager inside about three minutes after they arrived.   


The 17-year-old victim was transported to St. Peter's hospital in Olympia in critical condition.  He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition in the burn unit.


Lacey firefighters said the three teens were home alone at the time of the fire, but the other two got out safely and suffered minor injuries that were treated at the scene.


Neighbor Chris Hutchison told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois he didn't think anyone was home next door as the flames spread.


"We started spraying the side of that house as well as the car that was sitting on the side of ours, and that's when we heard the screaming across the street," said Hutchison.


The screaming was coming from two teenagers whose friend was in a front bedroom trapped by smoke and flames.


KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Dubois was told that the homeowner was out of town and her grandson was housesitting.  He said the teenage grandson had friends over Wednesday night, and it was one of those friends who was trapped in a bedroom and injured.


Two of the boys had left to get cigarettes and when they returned, discovered the fire.   Sources said the three boys were longtime friends and the two boys are devastated about their friend's injuries.


"Those kids, from the time that we met them --  they're good kids and it's a shame that it's got to happen to someone so young," said Hutchison.


 Though the cause of the fire has not been determined, sources told KIRO 7 the boys left the oven on because they wanted to have pizza.  They also took the grate off a barbecue and put wood inside it to make a bonfire in the back yard.


Damages are estimated at $320,000.


In addition to Lacey firefighters, crews responded from Olympia, South Bay Fire District 8 and East Olympia Fire District 6.