NewsRegion S Palm Beach CountyDelray Beach


Fire hospitalizes Delray woman, sparks safety conversation

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jun 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-01 17:07:16-04

Investigators still looking into what sparked a fire in Delray Beach that left a woman hospitalized and a family displaced, Friday night. 

Neighbors say it wasn't just a scary sight along SW 4th Ave. Friday night. There were frightening sounds.

"I heard a horrifying pounding on the walls," Paul Karatzas said. 

He says heavy smoke was coming from the home next door.

"I saw the smoke and I called 911," he recalled. 

His fast actions may have helped save a woman trapped inside.

"That is a big, big deal when someone is trapped in a fire like that," Capt. Kevin Saxton said. 

Capt. Saxton with Delray Beach Fire Rescue says to get to the woman they had to break a window in the back and pull her out of a back room. He says clutter in the home made the situation worse.

"A lot of content in a structure will also increase what's called a fire load which means there's more things that can burn so there's more things that will burn," he said. 

The woman was taken to the hospital.  At last check, she's in serious but stable condition. As for the home, it's boarded up and shutdown. 

"Again I'm just happy after that horrifying sound, to come home and hear banging on the wall and seeing smoke and hearing people's voices not knowing if they were safe, to know that they all got out," Karatzas said. 

Capt. Saxton says people should make sure their smoke detectors are up to date. He says people living in 2-story home should also have an escape plan.