The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to an apartment fire at 121 Rutledge Dr. this morning at approximately 10:51 a.m. The fire sent one female victim to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in critical condition and took the lives of two cats.
The first units arrived within four minutes of receiving the call and found a first-floor apartment unit on fire. Firefighters located and removed the unconscious resident from the building within seven minutes of their arrival. Emergency lifesaving CPR was started immediately, and firefighters were able to get the woman’s pulse back quickly. The resident was transported to the hospital by a Salem Fire & EMS ambulance.
The apartment sustained heavy fire and smoke damage, especially in the living room and kitchen areas. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in 14 minutes and keep it from spreading to other apartments.
Approximately 27 personnel from the Salem Fire & EMS Department (Truck 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, Medic 801, Medic 802, Medic 803, Medic 804, Battalion 1 & Fire Medic 1) and the Roanoke Fire & EMS Department (Engine 13) responded to the call.
The Salem Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that the fire was caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials and it has been ruled accidental in nature. The apartment sustained an estimated $50,000 in damage, but the other tenants were able to return to their respective units.