Monday, April 12, 2004

3-year-old rescued from house fire



By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

TRENTON - Three-year-old Gage Sturgill was still unconscious and in critical condition at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Sunday night after firefighters in this Butler County town used a thermal imaging camera to find the boy inside a burning, smoky house early Sunday morning.

When volunteer Trenton firefighters arrived at Gage's grandparents' house on the 300 block of East Page Street shortly before 3 a.m., five of the six people who had been sleeping inside had made it out.

Gage was still inside. Family members yelled from outside, trying to coax him from his bedroom.

"But he was really afraid, so he hid under the bed," said Gage's uncle, Jack Sturgill, who lives five blocks away.

A team of three Trenton firefighters - Capt. Randy Combs and firefighters Dave Runnels and Eddie Myers - rushed in and searched for Gage with the thermal imaging camera. They found him unconscious on his bedroom floor.

He was taken to Middletown Regional Hospital, then taken by helicopter to Children's Hospital in Corryville.

"We train for this all the time, but it doesn't happen too often," said Trenton fire chief Tom Puckett. "It's second nature when you do it, but then afterward it really gets in firefighters' heads."

The house was a total loss, and Butler County fire investigators were searching for a cause Sunday night, though arson is not suspected.

---

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




ENQUIRER COLUMNS
Immigration agency's cuts likely to hurt
Photos get spirit of Appalachia

TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Million expected at rally
Treats, songs add joy for kids
Majority for executive mayor
Memories of heroes
Soldier fought two battles
Norwood owners begin court battle to keep property
3-year-old rescued from house fire
Bradley busy but low-profile
Owl display helps kids digest facts
NAACP program helps get prisoners ready for freedom
Hearing today on Rumpke permits

KENTUCKY HEADLINES
Florence property could get makeover
Budget talks hit wall
Water solution: new line

EDUCATION HEADLINES
School numbers grow quickly
Tax feeds buildings
Finneytown High renovates stadium

NEIGHBORS HEADLINES
Civic leader to be honored via Web site
She donates what's needed
Hyde Park plans change
Montgomery hosts plant swap

LIVES REMEMBERED
John C. Suhar, 61, ran his own architecture firm
Karin Rabe, 58, taught English at UC