A fire that injured an older Bertie County couple rekindled, forcing volunteer firefighters to return to the home on Highway 45 late this morning.
Emergency Management Director Mitch Cooper says an explosion woke Raleigh Baker from his sleep, prompting him to check on his wife. Sue Baker uses an oxygen tank at home and also has one leg, according to the couple's daughter. The husband discovered the fire and dragged his wife out of the burning house and about 20 to 30 yards away from it.
"He definitely saved her life," Cooper told WITN.
Sue Baker was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville overnight, according to officials. Family members say she is improving.
Raleigh Baker was taken to the hospital in Windsor and later transferred to Vidant as well.
When crews responded to the fire at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, they reported flames shooting 100 feet high from the home. Family members say the couple lost everything in the fire, including the woman's prosthetic leg.
The cause of the fire is not known at this time, but officials do not suspect arson. Cooper says it will be up to the insurance company who investigates the cause of the fire.
As the couple lost everything in the fire, a fund has been established to help them. You can make contributions to the Sue and Raleigh Baker Fund at any State Employees Credit Union location.
Crews were called out late Tuesday night to a huge house fire in Bertie County where two people have been injured.
As we told you during WITN News at 11:00, 100 foot flames were seen coming out of the top of the house at 1116 NC 45 North near Merry Hill around 10:45 p.m.
Assistant Merry Hill Fire Chief Jodey Sary says a couple in their late 60's or early 70's who he identified as Sue Baker and Raleigh Baker, heard an explosion just before the fire. Sary said Mrs. Baker was on oxygen.
Sary says Mrs. Baker was flown by East Care to Vidant Hospital in Greenville with critical burns. Mr. Baker was taken to Vidant Windsor. He had a burn but his injuries were not severe.
Chief Sary says Mr. Baker pulled his wife out of a room and then fire officials helped them escape the house.
Merry Hill, Windsor, Perrytown and Colerain fire departments all responded to the scene.