Whiteville, NC – Fire sprinklers contain fire started by electric wheelchair

A lifesaving rescue was carried out by firefighters Saturday night. The Whiteville Fire Department was called out to the Covey Reserve Apartments and were able to save a man from dying.

Captain Kyle McDaniel was one of the firemen on the call.

“We searched each room and JD made contact with him and roused him up,” said McDaniel. “That’s when we realized we had a victim in the room.”

McDaniel said they weren’t able to see their hands in front of their face; that’s how much smoke had filled the apartment.

However, it could’ve been a lot worse if the sprinkler system didn’t go off.

“95-percent of the fire was out when we made entry,” said McDaniel.

The cause of the fire was an electric wheelchair. It belonged to Stacey Todd, who was asleep in the next room.

“Oh man, I tell you what. It’s a scary thing; it’s scary,” said Todd. “But things happen in life, sometimes you can’t help it.”

Todd says he lost everything in the fire, losses that come particularly hard this time of year with the holidays just around the corner.

But he is keeping his spirits up.

“I thank God; that’s all I know,” said Todd. “Because I didn’t know anything. I want to thank the fire department because if they wouldn’t have come, I wouldn’t be here.”

For Captain McDaniel, he says being able to save a life just gives him more reason to do what he loves.

And as for Stacey Todd he’s staying in a motel until he can find some place else to stay or his apartment gets restored.

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