Peoria firefighters stand outside a townhome in which three people were trapped by fire Sunday night. (Source: CBS 5 News)
The two women and a man were hospitalized in critical condition. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Some of the victims had to be revived multiple times due to their injuries (Source: CBS 5 News)
PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -
A newly released 911 call breaks down nine minutes of interactions between a Peoria Fire dispatcher and a teenager trapped by smoke and flames. Officials say that call may have saved her life along with two other people trapped inside a Peoria condo Sunday night.
"Is everybody out?" The unnamed dispatcher asked.
"No, we're trapped," the caller said. "I'm inside the bathroom."
For nearly 10 minutes, the dispatcher coached this teen through the terrifying situation.
"Ma'am, listen to me," the dispatcher said. "Do you have some towels in there?"
"Yeah," the caller responded.
"Okay, make sure the door is closed and put some towels under the door," the dispatcher ordered.
It only took four minutes for firefighters to get on scene but rescuers had to battle heavy smoke and flames to get to the trapped teens in the back of the condo.
"I'm just so scared," the caller told the dispatcher. "We can't breathe."
The Peoria dispatcher remained on the phone talking with that 19-year-old woman, who became unresponsive until firefighters rescued her three minutes later.
The teens, who were trapped by fire in the bathroom of their Peoria townhome, have made a remarkable recovery, according to police.
All three of the patients, whose names have not yet been released, had to be resuscitated and in some cases revived multiple times due to their injuries.
When the three were pulled from the home they were not breathing and had no pulse. Police immediately performed CPR. All three were rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
On Thursday, police said one of the women is expected to be released from the hospital soon. The other woman is in critical condition, however, the man involved is expected to be upgraded from critical condition to stable condition.
The victims were pulled from the apartment by firefighters after one of the occupants called 911 about 11:30 p.m. Sunday to report the fire, said Peoria Fire Capt. Billy Morris.
The 19-year-old woman stayed on the phone and followed directions from dispatchers to stay low to the ground in a bathroom in the back of the home until fire crews arrived.
"When we were coming in, we were getting reports on the radio that the victims were on with 911 letting them know they were in the back bathroom," Morris said. "They were not able to get out. When we found them, they were unresponsive in the bathroom and we pulled them out."
Morris said the fire had to be knocked down before the victims could be reached.
Morris said two apartments in the complex at 8100 N. 107th Ave. were a total loss, and six others suffered smoke and fire damage. The Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter assisted the displaced persons.
While the fire did appear to begin at the front of the home blocking both doors leading into and out of the home, the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, authorities said.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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