A 79-year-old Deaver woman lost her life during a fire in her home on Tuesday afternoon on Road 5½ north of Deaver. According to Deaver-Frannie fire chief Nick Loftus, his department was alerted to the fire at 3:11 p.m. and was on the scene at 3:19 p.m. He said, many of the firefighters were already at the fire hall, as they had just completed a fire prevention class for a group of pre-school students about 10 minutes prior.
When the firefighters arrived they found the home completely engulfed in flames. Loftus said the east end of the home was fully involved.
Out of concern that a victim may have been trapped in the fire, two firefighters put on air packs and entered the building in an attempt to search the bedrooms but had to retreat for their own safety as the fire raced toward them in a hallway and forced them out.
Once they were safely able to re-enter the building, they did and at that time found the victim, Dorothy “Dot” Creed, deceased in the home. Several pet dogs were also killed in the blaze. Loftus could not say how many of the pet dogs died in the fire but said they were advised that up to six dogs may have been in the home.
Several deputies with the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the scene after the fire crew. The Lovell Fire Department responded with an extra tanker and joined forces with the Deaver-Frannie firefighters to fight the fire. A Wyoming Highway patrolman was also at the scene.
“This is a horrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the family who have lost their loved one,” said Big Horn County Sheriff Ken Blackburn. “This was an especially bitter loss for those of us who work at the sheriff’s department because the victim was our co-worker at the annex at one time.”
According to Blackburn, the cause of the fire is under investigation in a joint effort by the State Fire Marshal’s office, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the county coroner and the sheriff’s department.
By Patti Carpenter