Note: This story was last updated at 1:50 p.m. Nov. 23.
The 65-year-old woman who was burned and seriously injured while trying to save three pets from a house fire on Wednesday afternoon died overnight at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, authorities said.
Martha Babb Bailey and Adra Denton of Oak Ridge had arrived at Bailey’s home at 131 Ridge Lane around 3 p.m. Wednesday after grocery shopping. When they opened the front door, the house, which is in Orchard Knob subdivision in Anderson County, burst into flames. Denton called 911 to report the fire, and Bailey ran into the burning home to try to rescue two dogs and a cat, Anderson County Sheriff Paul White said.
But Bailey’s clothes caught fire, and she collapsed in the living room, White said. Denton was unable to reach her and called 911 again to say her friend was trapped in the burning single-story home.
By that time, sheriff’s deputies and firefighters were already responding, White said.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Wiley A. Maloney and Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Reserve Deputy Gene Rose were the first to arrive, and they ran into the house, the sheriff said. With the help of Marlow Volunteer Fire Department Captain Zach Pressnell, they pulled Bailey, who was still conscious but laying on the floor a few feet from the front door, from the house. Pressnell said fire was rolling out of the front door when he arrived, burning the eaves.
In an incident report, Maloney said Bailey had major burns covering her body, and her clothing had been burned off completely. He and Rose picked her up and moved her into the front yard, and they covered her with a wet coat that was near the front door, Maloney said.
Bailey, who was seriously injured, was treated on the front lawn of the ridge top home until an ambulance arrived, emergency workers said. She was taken to Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge and then flown by Lifestar helicopter to UT. She died several hours later.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said an investigation shows the fire started in the living room, and it appeared to be accidental.
Firefighters were able to save a dog and cat from inside the house after the fire was extinguished. But the third pet, a dog, apparently died in the fire, White said.
Besides the Sheriff’s Department and Marlow Fire Department, the Claxton Volunteer Fire Department and Oak Ridge Fire Department responded, and so did the Anderson County Emergency Management Agency and Anderson County Emergency Medical Services.
Ridge Lane is on a ridge top just north of State Route 61 less than two miles east of Oak Ridge.
See this previous story for more information.
More information will be added as it becomes available.