KIRO 7 crew saves homeowner from fire



ELMA, Wash. - While looking for flooding in Elma, a KIRO 7 News crew ended up saving a woman from her burning home.


Reporter Richard Thompson and photojournalist Jan Kuwahara spotted a burning home while touring Elma Tuesday morning.  


At first look, they thought it might have been steam rising from the home but then realized it was smoke and flames coming from the attic.


While Thompson called 911 to get emergency crews to the home, Kuwahara pounded on doors but got no answer.


He then tried a door, found that it opened and entered the home as a 94-year-old woman was walking toward him.


"I said, 'Ma'am, your house is on fire, we've got to get out of here now!'" said Kuwahara.


Kuwahara said the woman hesitated, not knowing the stranger who had barged into her home, and was also unaware of the fire burning in her attic.


Once more he said, "Ma'am your attic is on fire, we've got to get out now!" and then took her by the arm to usher her out.


By that time, neighbors had arrived at the door, and knowing that the woman would feel more comfortable with people she knew, Kuwahara turned her over to them.


Thompson said he learned the woman, who lives in the home alone, used to own an antique store with her husband.   The home was filled with many antiques.


Unfortunately, the home's roof collapsed from the blaze and the home, which Kuwahara described as a "beautiful gingerbread house," was destroyed.


No one was hurt.