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Austin graduate rescues woman from trailer fire

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

Austin High School graduate and Pelham firefighter Kenneth Smith rescued a woman from a burning mobile home Monday morning.

Smith, a 1982 graduate, said he was running errands just after 9 when he noticed a plume of smoke from Plaza Pine Mobile Home Park on Alabama 68.

"I just drove in to see what was going on just like I would any other time, and I found a trailer with flames showing on one end," Smith said.

Smith said he and two other men went to the mobile home to check to see if anyone was inside. He said he found a woman lying just inside the door. He and one of the men then moved the woman to safety.

"If I had to guess, she was trying to get out and didn't make it," he said.

He said no one else was in the mobile home. An ambulance took the conscious woman to The University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, while he went to Shelby Medical Center. Doctors treated him for smoke inhalation and released him.

Capt. Blair Sides said his lieutenant's timing couldn't have been better. The mobile home was a total loss.

"When we arrived, heavy fire was showing and he'd just pulled her out," Sides said. "Another minute or another minute and a half would have been detrimental to her."

Smith, his wife, Carol, and their four children live in the Montevallo area. He has been with the Pelham Fire Department for 17 years.

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