Fire destroyed a home on Third Avenue in Paden City Friday night; the home's resident did suffer serious burns.
Paden City Police Chief Mike Kelly said Tanya Smith, the only person in the home, was taken by Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter to the burn unit at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He said Tuesday that she was still in critical condition.
A cause for the blaze that happened at about 11 p.m. is not known, but Kelly did say there were "three or four explosions." Contrary to some rumors, Kelly said his department "did not find any evidence of a meth lab at all." He did note a possible source of the explosions, "There were some oxygen tanks in there."
The home destroyed by fire.
The PCPD did the initial investigation, even traveling to Pittsburgh to interview Smith. Now all of that information has been turned over to the West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office, who will complete the investigation.
Kelly said Smith's neighbors were extremely helpful during the blaze.
One man, whose name Kelly doesn't know, literally saved Smith's life. He said a neighbor put a ladder up to an upstairs window. "He actually went in the fire, carried her out, and saved her life," said Kelly. "He should have some sort of recognition for this. I want to find him and shake his hand."
Other neighbors caught Smith's dogs and reportedly took them to the Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge. Olive Branch President Linda Henriksen said only one dog went into their care; she declined any further comment.
The Paden City Volunteer Fire Company, New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department, and Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department responded to the blaze. Also, the Wetzel County Emergency Medical Service provided medical assistance.