Woman rescued from fire in Maple Valley dies

by: Jeff Dubois Updated:

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. - The woman firefighters heroically brought back to life after a mobile home fire Friday morning near Maple Valley has died.  

Family members told KIRO 7’s Jeff Dubois that Nellie Smith died on the way to Harborview Medical Center.  She was 75 years old. 

The fire started around 3:30 a.m. off 296th Avenue near Maple Valley.  

The woman’s husband, Richard Smith, said he discovered the fire and tried to get his wife up and out of the house but couldn't get to her.  The man said he jumped out a window and ran to his pickup truck, where he set off the security alarm to try to get some help.  A neighbor woke up and called 911.  

When firefighters arrived, some started putting out the flames, while others pulled the woman out of the double-wide mobile home. 

Medics said Nellie Smith was not breathing and didn’t have a pulse, so the firefighters performed CPR.  

They were able to start her heart again but she died shortly after.

“The medics jumped on her immediately and started doing CPR, and they worked on her for a long time.  To be honest with you, I thought she wasn't going to make it,” said Ron Stewart, the neighbor who called 911.

Stewart said Nellie Smith and her husband have heart issues.  Richard Smith was treated by medics and transported to a hospital as a precaution.  He did not suffer any serious injuries.

Neighbor Jean Johnson said Nellie Smith couldn't get around very well and that may be one of the reasons her husband couldn't get her out of the burning home.

"When she'd go out to the paper or wherever, she had to use her walker.  Yeah, she couldn't move very fast at all," said Johnson.

Fire investigators haven’t released an official cause of the fire, but they believe it was accidental.