Homeowner transported for treatment after fire

Dave Weatherwax/The Herald
The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department responded at 10:32 a.m. to the report of a house fire at the Lois Suydam residence at 2558 Birk Drive.

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

JASPER — A homeowner was transported for treatment following a fire in her north-side residence this morning.

The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department responded at 10:32 a.m. to the report of a house fire at the Lois Suydam residence at 2558 Birk Drive. Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said Suydam lives at the address with her adult son, although she was the only one home at the time of the fire.

Speaking from the scene, Hochgesang said it appears a Jasper Post Office postal carrier noticed smoke and helped remove Suydam from the house. Suydam was reported to have been attempting to put out the fire.

Photo provided
Firefighters achieved a quick knockdown and, after extinguishing the flames, safely removed a pet dog and cat from the house.

The Herald contacted the postal worker who said his supervisor had instructed him to not speak with the media.

The Jasper Police Department tweeted about the incident: “Initial reports advise that local postman deserves credit for saving the female occupant. #hero #postmanrocks”

The Jasper Police Department said a neighbor called to report the fire and that neighbor reported seeing the postal carrier pulling Suydam from the home.

Ireland Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Scott Schnell, who works for the City of Jasper, was on Newton Street by the Citgo preparing to do some survey work when he heard fire and EMS dispatched over his pager. He rushed to the scene and, Hochgesang said, provided immediate assistance to the victim.

Photo provided
Jasper Volunteer Fire Department Kenny Hochgesang estimated damage to the residence at $50,000.

Schnell, who was giving dispatch initial information on his radio, said he arrived to see smoke and the elderly victim and the postal carrier were seated on the porch.

Schnell and a first-arriving Jasper firefighter got the victim into a lawn chair, moved her beside the driveway and began taking vital signs.

“She had gotten as far as the front porch and that’s where she couldn’t make it any further,” Schnell said.

A neighbor also brought the victim a blanket, Schnell said.

Hochgesang said the fire was in the area of a recliner and an end table in the living room. The incident may also have involved smoking materials, the chief added.

Firefighters achieved a quick knockdown and, after extinguishing the flames, safely removed a pet dog and cat from the house.

Hochgesang estimated damage to the residence at $50,000.

The home did not have smoke alarms, according to Hochgesang.

There was no immediate information on Suydam’s condition.

Five trucks and 32 firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

The Jasper Police Department and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services also assisted.

Photo provided
Hochgesang said the fire was in the area of a recliner and an end table in the living room.



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