Athens firefighters rescue woman from burning home

ATHENS, Ala. - Athens firefighters withstood equipment-melting temperatures to rescue a woman from a burning home Tuesday night, city officials said.

The fire happened at a home on Acorn Hill Circle just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Four family members and a family friend had made it out safely, but begged fire officials to save their grandmother, still inside the home.

Athens Fire Chief Bryan Thornton says that's what a decision had to be made.

"Almost to the point to where the decision has to be made...do make entry or not?" he said.

One fire crew continued to hose water onto the house, while another crew crawled through a bedroom window. They found the woman, and got her out of the home through the same window.

The rescue team was in that room for just a couple of minutes, but the extreme temperatures still managed to melt parts of the firefighters helmets.

No one involved in this fire rescue was seriously hurt, although, the family dog did not survive. The woman was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. Her condition was not immediately available Wednesday morning.

"I don't think the general public actually realized the risks these guys took last night," Chief Thornton said.

He also says taking extreme risks are worth it to save a life.

Investigators have determined theĀ fire starting due to a cooking accident, and they want to remind the public that if a grease fire starts in your home, to *not* throw water on it. Instead, either call for help, turn off the heat, cover the flames with a metal lid, and pour baking soda on the fire.

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