Jan 17, 2011 7:37 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Neighbor lends a hand to fire victims

Beth and Rick Bidwell woke up to screams early Monday morning.  They say they also noticed a bright orange glow coming in their bedroom window on Chesham Circle in Colorado Springs.  The house across the street was on fire.

Soon, they had 12 people in their living room, half of them with burns.  Beth Bidwell says the father was hurt the worst and could only make it to her front porch.

"I called 911," says Bidwell. "We did what we could to help everyone and the operator told me what to do in case anyone went into shock."

Bloody footprints on her porch and living room carpet show that one of the boys injured from the fire has severe burns to his feet.  She says others had burns on their hands or arms.  Bidwell says the father had burns from head to toe.

That man and one boy are at the burn unit at a hospital in Denver as of Monday evening, but their conditions are not available due to health privacy laws.

Doctors have released the four other children who had to go to the hospital early Monday morning.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the early morning fire, but say it likely started in the garage.  High winds quickly spread the flames to the second floor. 

Bidwell says she didn't think twice about helping her neighbors, even though she doesn't know their names.

"When people need, you just go and you do it.  I gave them whatever I could and they just came out with what they had on, which when you're sleeping isn't much," says Bidwell.


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