Monday, July 26, 2004

4-year-old in chains rescued from fire

Two adults face felony charges

The Associated Press

COSHOCTON, Ohio - Firefighters rescued a 4-year-old girl chained to a bed while the second-floor apartment she was in burned, officials said.

Gerald L. Stewart, 33, and Ridgley A. Allington, 36, who also escaped Friday's fire, have been charged with child endangering, a sheriff's official said. Their relationship to the unidentified girl was not available.

Firefighters arrived at the house at 8:55 a.m. Friday, according to a release from the Coshocton Fire Department. Blaine Hughes, who drove by and saw smoke, said he had tried to rescue the girl.

He said he saw Stewart and Allington coming out of the house, which included a second-floor apartment.

"The guy kept saying, 'Get my girl out. Get my girl out.' I told him I'll do what I can," Hughes said. "I got to the second floor and the fire came out, and I couldn't get any further."

Firefighters rescued the child, who was chained to her bed, said Deputy Troy Bricker of the Coshocton County sheriff's office. She was taken to Coshocton County Memorial Hospital before being flown to Columbus, according to the fire department.

Her condition was not available.

Bricker said both adults were charged with one count of child endangering, a second-degree felony.

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