‘I need a paramedic!’ Nurse rushes to neighbor’s aid, holds him back from burning home

Lynn Shears says she had to restrain the man from returning to the flames and his loved ones.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT
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WARNING: The contents of this story are graphic. Discretion is advised.

UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - A Union Township couple offered a harrowing account Tuesday of a fire the night before that killed one of their neighbors and seriously injured another.

The blaze broke out around 9 p.m. Monday in a condominium complex on Mapleport Way.

Lynn Shears lives behind the complex with her husband, Jim. They say the flames were so large that the rooms of their home were illuminated with a red glow coming in through their windows.

“It just kept going,” Jim said. “The sirens just kept coming.”

Before fire companies arrived, Lynn, a registered nurse, rushed to help.

“She ran, immediately ran,” Jim recalled. “Their unit was completely engulfed in flames at the time.”

Two people were inside the condo, according to Union Township Fire Chief Stan Deimling. Lynn says she helped one of them, a man who had just managed to escape.

“When I saw him, he was screaming,” Lynn said. “He was trying to get his girlfriend out, and he couldn’t. He was all black, his hair singed really bad.”

The man had burns covering his chest and back. But even badly burned, the man kept struggling beneath Lynn’s grasp, trying to get back inside the condo to rescue the woman inside. Lynn says she had to hold him down to keep him from returning to the flames.

“I wouldn’t let him go,” she said. I said, ‘No, it will be ok. They will get her.’ And he just kept weeping and screaming.”

She continued: “I was trying to hold him, but my hand was sliding, because his skin was peeling off of him. I said, ‘I need a paramedic! I need a paramedic! Where in the hell is the paramedic!?’”

The paramedics eventually arrived and transported the man to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he remains in serious condition.

The woman and a dog didn’t make it out of the fire, according to Deimling.

Fire investigators are still working to learn what caused the fire. The man who survived told his neighbors he heard an explosion before the fire and that he believed a battery had exploded.

“It’s really sad, because I know he was working so hard to get to his girlfriend,” Lynn said. “It was pretty hard to see that... that he loved her so much. I’ve been shaken up all day. I don’t want to cry, but I’m ready to.”

Investigators say it could take weeks before they learn the exact cause of the fire.

The name of the woman who died in the fire is not being released until her family is notified.

One person is dead and another is critically injured after a fire broke out in Union Township...
One person is dead and another is critically injured after a fire broke out in Union Township on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.(WXIX)

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