Bystanders help save Springfield family from fire

A toddler had to be tossed from a second story apartment window as a family of 5 escaped a fire inside their home.

Posted: Apr. 17, 2018 3:44 AM
Updated: Apr. 18, 2018 12:55 AM

UPDATE: The source of the fire was determined to be a heat lamp. The fire started on the front porch, blocking the front door with flames.

Fire officials recommend having multiple escape routes planned out in your home so that if you run into a situation where your primary exit is blocked, you have a way out.

"You don't plan on your front door being the origin of the fire....that area blocking your escape route. So have a plan to get out a window or have a ladder or whatever that may be," said Lance Lighty, Battalion Chief with Eugene Springfield Fire.

Officials also stressed the importance of working smoke detectors, saying that could make the difference in saving your life.

"During a fire, you have less than three minutes to escape, typically. Smoke spreads very fast and fire does as well so that early detection is key to making sure you have the opportunity to get out safely," said Deputy Fire Marshal, Merril Harrison.

Harrison said in rentals, owners are legally required to provide working smoke detectors for residents. You can read more about restrictions here
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SPRINGFIED, Ore -- Eugene-Springfield fire crews responded to a fully involved apartment fire on the 500 block of 28th Street.


Battalion Chief Lance Lighty said a female resident woke up around 2:00 a.m. and found flames inside the second story apartment 4-plex and tried to put out the fire, but was unsuccessful.

"I started to get out of bed, and when I opened my eyes I saw the living room illuminated," said fire survivor Shana Simpson, "It took me a couple of seconds to process what could possibly be so bright in my living room, and I suddenly realized my house was on fire."

Workers at Arclin USA, which is located across the street,  noticed the fire during a scheduled lunch break and called 911. 

KEZI 9 News learned several Arclin USA workers stepped into action to save the family before firefighters arrived.  Lighty said the workers heard screaming and found a family of five trapped on the second floor. According to Lighty, the family tossed a toddler from the second story and Arclin workers caught her.

The rest of the family lowered themselves, along with a dog, out the window with the assistance from workers below.

In addition, one Arclin worker knocked on the doors of the other three apartments in the complex to evacuate them. 

Lighty said the fire started on the front porch of the upper story apartment. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

This is a developing story. Stay with KEZI 9 News as our news team works to get new information.

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