INDEPENDENCE--Stacy Warner of Amite dragged an Independence woman who was halfway out of her burning mobile home to safety Sept. 12.
Warner was on her way home from work at Pulmonary Care Specialists, Inc. in Independence on Wednesday evening. Warner saved Elizabeth Latin from her burning trailer. The fire happened around 6:37 p.m., according to firefighters.
Warner was driving home on US 51 toward Amite when she spotted smoke coming out of a mobile home in a trailer park along the highway.
The smoke she saw looked different than barbecue smoke, and alarmed her. She turned around and went back toward Independence.
She saw that the smoke coming from the trailer was twice as big as before. The "smoke trail" was larger. She then had a friend call 911 and she went on to the trailer park to help. When Warner got to the trailer, she saw that it was on fire and smoke was pouring out the front door.
At this time she looked around, noticed no one. Then, she walked around the trailer and saw two feet sticking out from under the back door. A woman was sitting on the top step of trailer.
Ms. Warner said then she asked the occupant, Elizabeth Latin, if anyone else was in the trailer and she told her "No."
Once she found out no one else was there, Warner helped Mrs. Latin get to her feet and to safety at a nearby neighbor's home.
Tangipahoa Parish Fire District No. 1 responded the fire at Elizabeth Latin's home on 5553 US 51 at about 6:37 p.m. on Wednesday evening. They found the 16 by 60 foot trailer totally on fire. The fire department deployed 2 1/2 handlines and extinguished the fire. The location is 5553 US 51 in Lot B. The owner is listed as Tom Hudspeth,
Firefighters established that occupant Ms. Latin was in bed and heard a "pop" and saw smoke coming from an air conditioner in the bedroom. Warner said the victim told her she did not know how the fire started.
The firefighters also established that the other residents of the trailer were Marvin Gardner, Joyce Gardner, Bianca Latin, Marcus Latin, Marvin Latin and Barbara Latin. Fortunately, they were not there at the time.
Heat from the fire caused the vinyl on adjacent trailers to melt.
Fire Chief Bruce Cutrer's report showed that firefighters also responded to Maybel Gill, another resident near the fire. They cooled the side of her mobile home.
Warner said Latin escaped only with the clothes she wore, a wallet--and no shoes. She lost everything. Warner said Latin told her she lost medicine and is diabetic.
"The other trailers around her did not have flames coming out but they did have heat damage," said Warner.
Firefighters who responded the trailer fire were Tangipahoa Fire District 1 Chief Bruce Cutrer, Scott Gay, Clay Widas, Patrick Dees, Ethan Givens, Jason Schwebel, A. J. Petitto, and Andrew Crocker.
How to help: Ms. Latin she lost everything she had in the fire. She has a home health nurse and he assisted her by telling Pete's Pharmacy about the fire and her losses.
Anyone wishing to donate or help Ms. Latin can call the local Red Cross at 1-985-892-4317. Or bring donations to the nearest Red Cross at 619 N. Tyler St., Suite D, Covington, LA, 70433.
Pete's Pharmacy of Independence is where Ms. Latin gets her diabetic medicine. Upon finding out about that she'd lost all her medicine, staff member Matt got in touch with her insurance company and had them do an "override" so her medicine would automatically be refilled and she would not be without.