SMYRNA, Tenn. – A Smyrna Police Lieutenant rescued a 67-year-old woman from her burning apartment early Wednesday morning.
The Smyrna Police Department said Hazel Starnes was listed in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s burn unit following the early morning fire inside her apartment at Imperial Gardens Apartments on Imperial Boulevard.
Around 3:55 a.m., Smyrna Police said they received a call from a resident about a fire inside one of the units at the S Building .
Officers arrived to find smoke coming from Starnes’ apartment. Police said Lieutenant Bart Myers went inside, crawling on his stomach until he found the victim, who was approximately 10 feet inside the apartment.
"The heat from the smoke was really getting to me," said Lt. Myers. "I couldn’t see even with a flashlight. I was glad that she was at not that deep into the apartment. I couldn’t have gone much further. It was pretty bad."
He brought Ms. Starnes outside, where Smyrna Fire Department personnel treated her until an ambulance arrived to take her to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Lt. Myers suffered smoke inhalation. He was treated and released from StoneCrest Medical Center.
"I've never experienced anything like this," said Lt. Myers. "I would like to think that all of us would have done the same thing."
Officer Russell Edwards arrived on the scene just moments after Lt. Myers and said both officers were grateful they could help her out.
"God willing she will be okay, and she will pull through this," said Officer Edwards.
Firefighters were able to quickly contain the blaze to a bedroom inside Starnes’ apartment. The cause of the fire remained under investigation by Smyrna Police, Smyrna Fire, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.