“The smoke was horrible,” said neighbor Noretta Balich.
Neighbors say the scene was emotional and chaotic at the house fire at the corner of Kelly Boulevard and West Fairview Drive in Springfield.
Monica Sims was inside her home when the fire broke out. She remains in the hospital while being treated for serious burns. Neighbors say she ran out of the house in a panic just after 4 p.m. Thursday.
“Her face and hands and arms were burnt,” said neighbor Christine Gherardi.
“She looked hysterical,” Balich said.
Sims’ 15-year-old son was still trapped inside the burning house.
“She came out screaming that he was in there,” Balich said.
“Then she collapsed on the hood of her car,” Gherardi said.
Gherardi says Sims tried to go back inside for her son, but neighbors stopped her. When the firefighters arrived on scene, they were able to rescue the teen.
“The fireman broke out two bedroom windows, and they found him and lifted him out the window,” Gherardi said.
Gherardi says the boy was able to walk with the help of the firefighters. His step-dad says he was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation, but was quickly released and is doing fine now.
Neighbors say Sims and her son knew exactly how the fire started.
“She started to say it, that she’d left, and then the boy finished it–a candle burning in the bedroom,” Balich said.
The fire marshal confirmed the fire did start because of a candle. The home is a duplex, and all of the residents were relocated. Damage has been estimated at $100,000.