ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — St. Albans Fire Chief Steve Parsons said firemen get into the business to save lives. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen and it makes a tough job even tougher.
“You train and you train and you train and you take all this training and when things happen, you expect things to work out,” Parsons said. “But this is not Hollywood, this is real life.”
One particularly shift for the fire department has learned that the hard way in the past week. The crew arrived at a home on Washington Ave. early Sunday morning to a house with flames shooting from a second story window. Only after they arrived did they learn somebody could be trapped inside.
“They immediately made a forced entry and started extinguishing the fire,” he said. “But by that time the victim had already succumbed.”
The victim is identified as Gwen Saulton, 53. Neighbors said she shared the home with her brother. Parsons said they know the cause, but aren’t releasing it until they have all reports completed in the investigation. The state Fire Marshal’s Office is leading the probe.
The same crew who responded to Saulton’s fatal fire responded to a fire last Wednesday where two people died at Benedict Circle. Parsons said the crew will receive counseling.
“Sometimes you forget about the firefighters. It does take a toll,” he said. “I say you have to be like a machine, but you do have to go out and answer the next call, you can’t turn off the business.”