By Nathan Baker
Visiting friends carried an Elizabethton woman to safety Tuesday after they noticed a fire in the ceiling of an apartment over her home’s garage Tuesday afternoon.
Jan Peters said she and her husband Ed visited the residence at 600 Orchard Road Extension to work on a malfunctioning recessed light in the bathroom of the guest apartment at the request of the home’s owner, Evelyn Elmer.
“We thought we smelled something, and around the light it looked like it was a gray color,” Jan Peters said. “Ed reached up and said it felt warm, then he pulled the light out of there and we could see the blaze up in the ceiling.”
Jan Peters said she immediately got the elderly Elmer into her wheelchair and rushed her out the front door, shielding her from the cold with her own jacket.
Elizabethton Fire Department Capt. Jack Buckles said when he arrived at the driveway of the hilltop home, all he could see was a wall of smoke as the flames punched through the structure’s roof.
“It was just thick, black smoke, and I was hoping it hadn’t spread to the main house,” he said.
Buckles said the multi-level main house would have been much more difficult for the crews to defend had the flames spread from the attached garage.
Luckily, the firefighters were able to contain the fire to the guest house and had the flames under control about 25 minutes after their arrival.