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House fire claims life

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Photo by Dallus Whitfield

Unexpected tragedy hit Lebanon early in the New Year.

The Lebanon Fire Department received a report of a house fire in the city on West Forrest Avenue after 11 p.m. on Monday. Although crews were on the scene within three minutes, it was too late. A 52-year-old female resident had died from smoke inhalation.

"Two people had come out of the home, and a passerby helped them. The initial dispatch information said it was possible that one person was trapped inside," explained Lebanon Assistant Fire Chief Jason Baird. "We contained the fire to the front of the home as best as we could. We found her pretty quick."

Baird said they put all of their resources into saving her and also prevented the fire from spreading to the back of the home.

"We had the fire out in 15 minutes and then just put out the hot spots. We were there all night," he continued.

Upon arrival, the structure was 70 percent involved, which is unusual according to Baird.

"It was a unique one for us. Residential fires usually aren't that big since we can get there so quickly," he said.

However, investigation did not show any foul play. LFD deemed it an accidental fire based on preliminary interviews.

One victim was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

The structure is still standing, and it was reported family members were able to salvage some items.

"It is rough watching the family deal with that. This is a day (our firefighters) will remember for the rest of their lives - but it is nowhere near the pain felt by this family. We train every day for occasions like this," Baird said.

The identity of the deceased has not yet been released.

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