Spotsylvania Fire and Rescue has launched an internal investigation into a fatal fire after a woman died while on the phone with 9-1-1.
The fire happened in February. Authorities said the victim, Sandy Hill, was trapped in an upstairs bedroom filled with smoke. Hill called 9-1-1 and was able to tell emergency communicators her address and where she was inside the home.
"Oh my God, I think the house is on fire," Hill said to dispatchers. "When you come up the steps I'm to the left."
Hill's roommate was out of the home, and her 17-year-old daughter was rescued. Hill, however, was still trapped, on the phone, telling 9-1-1 operators where she was.
Tapes of the communication between dispatchers and fire crews on the scene were released to 8News this week.
Dispatcher: "She's going to be by the door, she's trying to call for you.
Fire Command: "Engine 10, do you copy? She's by the door."
Firefighter: Second floor, no results. We're going to the first floor again."
Fire Command: She's reported to be in a bedroom by the door, if that helps at all.
Dispatch: "We can hear the firemen banging on the door."
In all, it took firefighters 20 minutes to find Hill. By that time, she was unconscious. She died on the way to the hospital.
"They are working very methodically but very thoroughly to do an entire review of this incident," said Spotsylvania Fire Chief Chris Eudailey. "Over the years we have had fatalities in the county, but it has not been with this set of circumstances."
Eudailey said procedural changes could be put into place once the investigation is finished.
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