A four year old girl was flown to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Sacramento with serious burns after Weed City firefighters rescued her from a burning house Sunday evening.

CAL FIRE Interagency Command Center reported receiving a 911 call for a fully involved home on Wakefield Avenue in Weed’s Lincoln Heights at about 9:45 p.m. on March 20, according to public information officer Suzi Brady.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find the front living room fully involved. Eight family members, including a 39 year old male, 40 year old female and six children ranging in age from 6 to 18, were outside the house being assisted by neighbors and Weed police officers, Brady said.

Firefighters were told one child remained trapped inside, said Weed Fire Department chief Darin Quigley.

“We knew we had to be quick... we immediately made entry with a hoseline to knock the fire down, then four of us split off to do the search using thermal imaging in order to see through the smoke,” Quigley said.

Quigley, lieutenant Chris DeForest and firefighters Max Eliah, Jonathan McCauley, Jonathan Quigley and Tyler Sweet, as well as CAL FIRE officers Ben Olinghouse and Ivan Kaufner entered the home to perform the attack and rescue.

Quigley was with McCauley “performing a right hand search” when they located the girl unconscious in one of the bedrooms, he said.

McCauley picked the girl up and carried her to the ambulance, Quigley said.

The girl and her father, who had received serious burns, were immediately taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, according to Quigley. Because of poor weather conditions, they were transported by Mt. Shasta Ambulance to Redding, then transported via helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center and Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Sacramento.

The remaining seven family members were transported to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, treated and released with minor injuries, Brady said.

“We knocked down the fire in two minutes and had the child out in about three,” Quigley said. “This was a significant fire... We couldn’t have done any better.”

This is the type of incident firefighters train for, Quigley said. Though they’re accustomed to battling structure fires on a regular basis, Quigley said in the 21 years he’s been with the Weed Fire Department, he’s only seen people trapped in a fire like this four or five times, and they haven’t always been able to get the victims out.

“You need to have an early report, and we did with this fire. The fire’s got to be at the point where we can safely perform a rescue,” Quigley said.

Firefighters from CAL FIRE, Weed City Fire Department and Lake Shastina Fire Department and personnel from Mt. Shasta Ambulance, Northern Siskiyou Ambulance, and the Weed Police Department are credited for responding to the incident, said Brady.
Members of the WFD are being credited for rescuing the child, she added.

Quigley said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but preliminary reports indicate that the 39 year old father was in the process of lighting the wood stove when the fire escaped.

The inside of the house was gutted and sustained heat and smoke damage, but there was no structural damage, Quigley said.

Damage estimates are still being determined, Brady said.