Woman saved from blaze

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “The officers did an outstanding job,” said Burbank police Sgt. Jay Jette. “They worked as a team to do what needed to be done. They went above and beyond.” Burbank Fire Department Capt. Bob Reinhardt echoed the sentiments. “They acted in a very heroic manner,” he said. “We’re very proud of them.” Hawver deflected the praise, saying, “It really is part of the job. That’s what we’re here for.” Fire officials said the blaze started in the trash basket, where Fox’s live-in caretaker had thrown out her cigarette before falling asleep. She woke up to flames and smoke and alerted neighbors, who called 911. BURBANK – Police Sgt. Jay Hawver was drinking iced tea at the Coral Cafe at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when he got a radio call – a house fire in the 400 block of North Griffith Park Drive, elderly woman possibly inside. Among the first at the scene, Hawver braved thick smoke and searing flames to pull 91-year-old May Fox out of her home, which caught fire after a still-smoldering cigarette was tossed in a wicker trash basket. After police helped Fox to safety, paramedics rushed her to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Even though Fox’s fate was uncertain, officers and firefighters praised Hawver and four of his colleagues for their valiant attempt to save her life. Police were the first to arrive and quickly pulled Fox out of the home. Hawver suffered a cut on his hand while climbing through a broken window to save her. “I couldn’t see anything, the smoke was so thick,” said Hawver, a 12-year department veteran. “The heat was very intense. When I first got in, I stumbled over a chair or a table, and was calling out for the lady, ‘Are you here? Is anybody in here?’ I didn’t know her name.” He said he heard coughing and moaning in the room and started feeling around. “I could feel a person. I could feel the leg,” he said. “I took ahold of her and picked her up off the bed and then turned back toward where I knew the window was at.” By that time, another officer, Jennifer Downs, was inside the room. She and Hawver lifted Fox out of her bedroom through the window and into the arms of other officers outside. They sat her on the lawn to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation before paramedics took her to the hospital. While she was fighting for her life, neighbors reacted with shock about their beloved friend, who they said loves gossip, ballroom dancing and singing along with her TV. “It’s an empty hole in the pit of my stomach,” said Flo Johnson, 66, a friend for 45 years. “She was a great lady. She was a fun lady. Everybody loved her. … She was a good neighbor. She was a good friend.” Helen Gregos, 83, a retired nurse, used to give Fox her medication before she had round-the-clock caretakers. “We’ve been friends a long time,” said Gregos, who has been praying that Fox recovers from her ordeal. “She knew all the news that was going on in the neighborhood: who was visiting who, which car pulled into my driveway and who was sleeping with who. What she didn’t see, she manufactured. “She’s very resilient. I expect her to come out of this.” Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more