What to Know
- Debbie Perdue suffered burns to 75 percent of her body while escaping a house fire in Wilmington, Delaware. She's in critical condition.
- Perdue's friend suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital.
- If you have any information on the fire, please call Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.
A woman is fighting for her life after suffering burns to the majority of her body while escaping a house fire in Wilmington, Delaware.
Debbie Perdue, 62, was inside a home with a friend on West Summit Avenue in Wilmington’s Elmhurst section around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when the smoke alarm went off as a fire started. Perdue and her friend ran out of the house as the flames spread.
“They were screaming and I could still hear the screams in my head,” Linda Gardner, a neighbor, told NBC10. “It was the scariest feeling.”
Gardner said she saw Perdue on fire in the yard. She was taken to Christiana Hospital and then transferred to the Crozer Medical Center in critical condition. She suffered burns to 75 percent of her body, according to the Fire Marshal.
Perdue’s friend was treated at the hospital for minor burns and released.
Investigators say the fire caused around $75,000 in damage. The house is a total loss.
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Perdue had been a caretaker for an elderly woman who owned the house and had been living at the home after the owner died, according to a family member. Her friend who was with her was also living there while dealing with marital problems.
Allan Jackson, Perdue’s son, told NBC10 a man was renting a room in the home and the situation had turned volatile prior to the fire.
“He threatened to set the house on fire while I was there,” Jackson said. “But my mom said he says it all the time.”
Investigators have not revealed the cause of the fire. If you have any information, please call Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.