Hamilton police officer guided disoriented woman to safety

When Hamilton Police Sergeant Karen Wallace arrived on Savoy Road early today, she spotted an older woman pacing back and forth on the second floor of a house that had caught fire and was quickly filling with heavy smoke.

“She seemed disoriented, and wasn’t responding,” Wallace said today in a telephone interview. “I tried calling her down the stairs, but she said she was looking for her shoes.”

The husband, meanwhile, was refusing to leave the smoky doorway until his wife was rescued, Wallace said. The couple were in the 70s, Wallace said.


Wallace decided to run into the house, forcing her way through a haze of white smoke to the second floor. There, she took the woman’s arm and helped guide her down the stairs, walking her carefully out of the front door and into her husband’s waiting arms.

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The family of four, which included their daughter and their grandson, was evacuated from the home. The daughter, who was in her late twenties and called to report the fire, suffered minor burns to her hands in her effort to extinguish the fire. She was treated and released at an area hospital, Wallace said.

Hamilton firefighters responded to the one-alarm fire at 11 Savoy Rd. at 4:19 a.m., according to fire department Chief Philip Stevens. The fire was confined to one room. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Hamilton fire department.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.