A fire that swept through a home on Shadow Lane late Thursday claimed the life of a Hendersonville woman and injured two others, according to Hendersonville Fire Chief Scotty Bush.
A neighbor called 911 at around 11:31 p.m. alerting authorities to the fire, according to Bush. Firefighters arrived four minutes later to find the home fully engulfed in flames.
Two people were trapped in the home’s basement area while a male who lived upstairs had escaped, Bush told reporters at a press conference early Friday.
“Unfortunately, the fire had a pretty good head start on us,” he added. “They made a very aggressive interior attack once we knew that we had two people trapped inside the house.”
Firefighters were able to rescue a male subject from a bathroom. As they did so, a second female victim, identified as Karen Warren, 57, was located and pulled from the home. Both were treated for their injuries and smoke inhalation. Warren later died from her injuries sustained in the fire, according to Bush.
The two men who escaped the fire were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where they are being treated for burns and smoke inhalation. Both have non-life-threatening injuries.
Bush said the fire’s cause and origin are still under investigation.
“It looks like it started around the basement and then went up a stairwell interior in the house.,” he said. “And it got up in the attic of the house before anybody recognized what was going on.”
Investigators are hoping video footage captured by a neighbor will help in the investigation, Bush added.
“When we made entry into the front of the house to go in, we actually had the fire flash over top of us as we made entry,” he said. “We’ve got some pictures of that – video of that - that we’ll use in the investigation as well.”
Four engine companies, two truck companies, a battalion chief and a division chief responded to the fire, according to Bush who praised the 20 firefighters who fought the fire for getting it under control so quickly.
“It was just a great job by my staff the way they attacked that fire,” he said. “I can’t be more proud of that whole shift.”
Officials did not find any working smoke detectors in the home.
"The Hendersonville Fire Department wishes to remind everyone that working smoke alarms save lives,” Bush said in a media release issued late Friday. “Our department, in conjunction with the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s office will provide free smoke alarms and installation. Please contact our offices for more information.” The Hendersonville Fire Department can be reached at 615-822-1119.
Bush also urged residents to test their smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least twice a year.
The city’s last fire-related death occurred in January of 2018 when a fire on Elnora Drive claimed the life of 76-year-old Thomas McClendon.