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Firefighters Rescue Girl Hiding In Closet Of Burning Home

By Melissa Garcia

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Firefighters rescued a 5-year-old girl who was hiding inside a burning home in Lakewood overnight. She continued to recover in the hospital on Friday.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Firefighters rushed to the burning home in the 9900 block of West Vassar Way.

Firefighters rescued the girl who was trapped on the second floor. She was hiding in a closet.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We knew that we had to get in there and find that girl and get her out as fast as we could,” said West Metro Fire Rescue firefighter David Dame.

She and her father were both taken to Swedish Medical Center where staff treated them for smoke inhalation.

“I was screaming, yelling trying to get her attention,” said Dame. “She heard me and answered me. I was able to get right to her Seth who was right behind me. When I got to her unfortunately she was hiding in a closet. She was terrified. She was a little bit difficult to coax out of the closet. It took a couple of extra seconds but once we got her out of the closet, got in the hallway and ran back to the front door we handed her off to some other firefighters and they got her to the hospital.”

Seconds, in a fire, can mean the difference between life and death.

Firefighters from West Metro Fire Rescue discuss the battle against the overnight fire. (credit: CBS)

Firefighters from West Metro Fire Rescue discuss the battle against the overnight fire. (credit: CBS)

Lt. Rich Klein, a paramedic with West Metro Fire, said that Dame was able to get the girl outside before the worst could have happened.

“Ceiling collapse. Floor collapse,” said Klein. “There was fire from end to end, top to bottom.”

Investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire, and believe that it started on the back deck.

Firefighters said there was a valuable take-away message: that fire drills are not just for school.

Parents were urged to do drills at home to teach kids what to do if there’s a fire. Firefighters said children should know at least two ways out of their house.

Moms and dads should also set a safe meeting spot for family member to gather outside of the house.

A Swedish spokesperson said that the hospital was not able to release the girl’s condition due to the family’s request for privacy.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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