A Springfield woman who might have been trying to save her pets as a fire broke out inside her home Wednesday suffered severe injuries in the blaze.
Carolyn Grigiss called 911 to report a fire at her home in the 1000 block of Torrence Drive at about 8:45 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they found Grigiss unconscious on her kitchen floor, said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Miller.
"We're concerned that she may have been worried about her pets and didn't leave immediately," Miller said.
She was taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center suffering from what Miller described as "very serious" injuries. Her brother, Peter Grigiss, said she suffered from severe smoke inhalation and was covered in soot. He said she had not regained consciousness before she was transferred to Miami Valley Hospital. She was still listed as a patient Wednesday night, but her condition was not released.
Smoke filled every room of the home, causing damage. One of Grigiss' dogs was killed in the fire, another was rescued and is being treated at a veterinary clinic. The victim's brother said it wouldn't surprise him if his sister had tried to save her animals.
"She loved her dogs. She just rescued a dog in July, and I don't know if it was an omen since one of the dogs died," he said. "They were her family."
Because of the nature of the fire, Miller said, he called in units from Springfield police and the state fire marshal's office to assist in the investigation. There were no signs of foul play.
The blaze is believed to have been caused by a space heater located in a back family room addition. It may have been too close to a chair and caught it on fire, Miller said.
There were no working smoke detectors in the home, Miller said.
The home is uninhabitable, with smoke damage in every room and water in the basement.The majority of the family room was destroyed in the blaze. Peter Grigiss said seeing the damage was shocking.
"It's just unreal. Everything's black. Everything's destroyed," he said.
A recovery team was called in to clean up. The house belonged to his parents, Peter Grigiss said, and his sister moved in a few years ago to take care of their mother before she passed away. While the home holds a lot of memories, he said his greatest concern is for her recovery.
"My sister is a special person," he said. "We're going to be praying a lot and waiting to see what the doctor's diagnosis is."