Wife Awakes to Disabled Husband's Screams, Unable to Save Him From Fire

Officials say the lack of fire detectors most likely contributed to the disabled man's death.

By Kelly Bayliss
|  Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013  |  Updated 6:58 AM EDT
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Fire officials say a space heater sparked the fire on the 100-block of Eleanor Street that killed a disabled man and injured a firefighter.

NBC10, Jesse Gary

Fire officials say a space heater sparked the fire on the 100-block of Eleanor Street that killed a disabled man and injured a firefighter.

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A disabled man is dead following an early morning fire that engulfed a home in the Feltonville section of the city.

Fire officials on the scene told NBC10's Jesse Gary that the fire broke out on the 100-block of Eleanor Street around 4:10 this morning.

They say that the victim's wife woke up after hearing her disabled husband, who family identifies as James Greg, screaming from his bed on the first floor of the home. When she went downstairs, she saw their space heater on fire.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said that because of the man's diabilities, his wife's only chance of saving him was to go outside and call for help. Sadly, when she rushed outside, the door slammed and locked behind her.

The woman's neice, who lives next door, heard her aunt's screams and called 911.

"He was disabled, so she drug him out as far as she could but when she got to the door, the door slammed and she couldn't get back in to save him," the neice told NBC10.

The fire was placed under control shortly before 5 a.m.

No fire detectors were found inside the home, according to Ayers, but, he says, had there been smoke detectors, the victim might be alive today.

"We find the same situation over and over again. Folks that are not taking care of themselves, not putting smoke alarms up, not making sure they give themselves and their loved ones the opportunity to escape a fire when it's in its earliest stages," said Ayers.

A firefighter helping to fight the flames suffered minor injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Eleanor Street is closed between Rising Sun Avenue and 8th Street.

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