Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Woman alerts residents of blaze

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

[photo] A Fairfield firefighter looks around the front of the burned out condominiums at 5350 Camelot Drive after an early morning fire Monday. Four units were gutted by the blaze, and eight others were damaged.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
FAIRFIELD - Christy Ballard was in her Camelot Drive condominium early Monday when a neighbor banged on her door, saying there was a fire.

Ms. Ballard and her two children - ages 2 and 11 - made their way through a smoky hallway out the front door. When they looked back, the front of the building and roof were ablaze.

"She banged on the door and woke everybody up," Ms. Ballard said. "I was sobbing hysterically. It was pretty much my worst nightmare come true."

One resident of the building at 5350 Camelot Drive was in serious condition Monday at University Hospital after jumping from a third-story balcony. Gregory Boston, 25, suffered fractures, Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett said. Firefighters rescued one person from the balcony, but Mr. Boston jumped before they could reach him.

"We were ... setting the ladders up when he decided to bail," Chief Bennett said. "If he'd have waited probably around two minutes maybe, they would have gotten him down."

Neighbors and fire officials say the fire could have been much worse if the unidentified resident hadn't alerted occupants to the blaze.

Firefighters were called to the building at 2:44 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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