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Sons carry mom, 88, from Fort Lauderdale house fire

By Wayne K. Roustan, Sun Sentinel
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

June 30--FORT LAUDERDALE -- An 88-year-old woman was rescued Monday by her two grown sons from a fire in the home she's occupied for more than 50 years.

Crews from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue were called to the home on the 500 block of NW 8th Ave. at 2:15 a.m, according to Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Heiser.

Before firefighters arrived, a disabled Pinkie Lee Johnson was carried out of the home by her two sons.

One of them, Larry Johnson, says he was watching television when he smelled smoke.

"I was trying to figure out where it was coming from and by the time I got up it had spread from the bedroom to the bathroom and along the ceiling," he said.

He woke up his 65-year-old brother.

"If he hadn't done that I'd probably be dead right now," Willie Johnson said. "I grabbed a fire extinguisher and opened a bedroom door and that's when all the smoke came out, flames and smoke."

He switched to a garden hose but was losing the battle -- so the brothers focused on their mother.

"I said close that door and let's get momma out of this house," Larry Johnson said.

They lifted her over the side rails of a hospital-style bed and took her out a back door.

"It's a good thing she had a side door here instead of going through the house that way with all the smoke coming that way," Larry Johnson said.

Arriving crews from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue had the flames under control in a matter of minutes, the brothers said.

Willie Johnson believes the fire started in a bedroom used for storage.

"[The fire] was traveling, man," he said. "[It] started traveling all through the roof there."

Larry Johnson said the damaged house is covered by fire insurance.

"We just got through doing some kitchen remodeling too," he said. "Now it's messed up from the smoke [so] the whole house is going to need work."

Their mother was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with injuries unrelated to the fire, officials said.

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Willie Johnson said there are five other siblings in the area that he, his brother and their mother will be able to stay with.

The fire was contained to two of the rooms in the house and its cause remains under investigation, fire officials said.

The shattered windows of the charred house were covered with hurricane shutters by noon Monday.

Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

wkroustan@tribune.com.com or 954-356-4303

___

(c)2014 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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