UPDATE: Dalton house fire sends two people to burn center - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Dalton house fire sends two people to burn center

DALTON, GA. (WRCB) -- Two people are at the burn center in Augusta, Georgia after being rescued from their burning Dalton home early Wednesday morning.

Fire crews had to fight flames throughout the bottom floor of the couple's home, before cutting a hole through the roof to reach them.

It was just after midnight Wednesday morning when a neighbor on Griffin Street heard the commotion at the home and called 911.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was billowing out, flames were beginning to rise, and a husband and wife were trapped inside unconscious. But thanks to a quick response, only three minutes from call to arrival, both are alive.

Neighbor Louis Mendez says, "I tried the window and door but nobody answered. I think there was too much smoke, something was wrong."

Firefighters say neighbor Louis Mendez's call likely saved two lives. He was awakened by breaking glass. He quickly called 911, and then tried to alert those inside. They didn't answer because they were unconscious.

The male was in cardiac arrest and the woman had a pulse but wasn't breathing when fire crews arrived minutes later.

"Our crews did CPR which includes ventilation and so forth," says Dalton Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield.

Mendez says, "They did a good job. They came in fast and did a good job."

Chief Satterfield says the husband and wife were at the hospital within 30 minutes and quickly on a chopper to Augusta's burn center, both with a pulse and breathing.

The victim's son, Michael Hunter says, "I'm in shock this happened."

Hunter lives a few towns over. He was there cleaning up on Wednesday. He confirms what Chief Satterfield told Channel 3; there was no smoke alarm in the house they were renting.

Satterfield says, "There was no working smoke alarm in the home. These two victims had no warning that there was a potential problem. Regardless of what people think, you don't have a sense of smell when you sleep."

Investigators say the fire started in the living room on the couch, but they don't know what started it or how long it was burning. 

Michael says his mother and step-father are in stable condition. His mother is much more alert. He expects her home in less than a week. His step-father's burns were more serious, which could mean months of rehab.

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