Fire investigators probe Christmas Day house fire

Becky Campbell • Dec 27, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Johnson City fire investigators are continuing to probe a Christmas Day house fire that sent a city woman to a Nashville hospital for smoke inhalation.

Fire Marshal Jonathan Fulmer said the 19-year-old victim was in good condition with stable vital signs when he checked on her Thursday.

Elaf Elhindi, 2312 Rambling Road, was first transported to the Johnson City Medical Center, then later flown to Vanderbilt Medical Center for further treatment.

Fulmer said the woman did not suffer burns, but the concern was for her airway after she breathed in toxic gases from the fire.

“To my knowledge, they were concerned about smoke inhalation ... she was not burned, not external burns,” Fulmer said.

When firefighters arrived at the house, they quickly learned Elhindi was still inside although her siblings had escaped.

Firefighters “found her in a half bath off her bedroom,” Fulmer said. “Her bedroom was where the fire was.”

Although investigators determined the fire started in Elhindi’s bedroom, they still don’t know the cause.

“We’re still investigating it. She is not able to be interviewed yet,” he said.

Fulmer said the teenager and two siblings were home when the fire started. The children’s parents were not home, and Fulmer said he could not provide any information about their whereabouts. There were no smoke detectors in the home, but Elhindi’s brother woke up in a nearby bedroom when he smelled smoke, information he gave fire investigators said.

Fulmer said fire damage was contained to Elhindi’s bedroom, but there was smoke and heat damage down the hallway.

“It was really contained to one room. The firefighters did a wonderful job containing it and rescuing the victim,” Fulmer said.

More information about the fire will be released when investigators finish the investigation.

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