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Three injured in accidental RV fire in Lebanon

At around 6:30am, a candle placed on a stool in the living area fell and lit the blanket of Leighman ablaze.

Posted: Feb 24, 2021 6:37 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2021 6:43 PM

Lebanon residents Darcie Cunningham, Donna Leighman, and Leighman's nine-year-old daughter woke up to their RV nearly engulfed in flames early this morning. 

At around 6:30am, a candle placed on a stool in the living area fell and lit the blanket of Leighman ablaze. The fire quickly transferred to her feet, causing multiple significant burns.  

"The room was completely covered with black smoke. I couldn't see anything. Not even my hands in front of my face," Cunningham said. She was aided by the screams of the nearby neighbors who were attempting to give directions from the outside.

In the following moments, Leighman grabbed her daughter and escaped through the front door. Cunningham was trapped in her bedroom as the flames blocked the path from her room to the front door exit. 

"She busted out the window with her fist, and I dove out the window," Cunningham said, "and right when I was diving out the window, a gentleman from the house had run out right next to her. I dove head first into their arms."

The Lebanon Fire District arrived at the scene in just eight minutes, but they were unable to save the RV. It was damaged beyond repair.

Fire Marshal Jason Bolen said the the three were lucky to be alive. 

"These people were very fortunate. They were probably within a minute's time of this being a triple fatal fire," Bolen said. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in 15 minutes. Bolen warned people to be careful when dealing with candles. 

"[candles] can be really great and make a nice mood, but they're very dangerous and we really want to encourage people to never use candles unattended."

None of the people in the home sustained any life threatening injuries, but Leighman was taken to Lebanon Community Hospital to be treated for the burns on her foot. Her daughter sustained a minor burn to her hand that first responders treated on the scene. 

An investigation by the Fire Department concluded the fire was an accident. 

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