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Parksville firefighters rescue paraplegic

Nov 22 2011

Parksville firefighters saved a 60yearold paraplegic woman from a fire in her bedroom Saturday night.

The woman called 911 about 11: 40 a.m., saying her bedspread was on fire and she couldn't get out because she relies on a wheelchair, said fire chief Doug Banks, who was first on scene.

Volunteer firefighters and Oceanside RCMP officers rushed to the townhouse in the 200 block of Molliett Street.

An Oceanside RCMP tried to open a window to air out the smoke, but seriously cut his hand on the venetian blinds, Banks said.

The woman told the emergency dispatcher where she kept a hidden key outside, so firefighters were able to quickly enter the suite and carry the woman out, Banks said.

Thanks to a sprinkler system in the bedroom, the fire was almost extinguished by the time firefighters got inside.

The woman was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters believe the fire was caused because the woman was smoking in bed, but have not been able to talk to her.