Elderly woman rescued by family from Bridgewater inferno
BRIDGEWATER — An elderly woman trapped in her burning home was rescued on June 20 by her son and daughter.
By the time Alison Wells, 87, was awakened by the sound of smoke alarms, the house on Christian Street was already engulfed in flames, barring access to the front door, fire officials said.
Daughter Alden Wells hurried her mother onto the back deck of the ranch-style home, where son Leigh Wells, who lives in the basement, had raised a ladder, granddaughter Erin Scalera said.
Keith Wells, another of Alison Wells’ adult sons, visited what remained of his childhood home Wednesday.
“Leigh went up there with a ladder and saved his mother, like anyone would have done,” he said holding back tears. “He’s not a hero, but he saved my mom. God bless him.”
All three family members escaped injury, but were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. Leigh and Alden Wells were released Wednesday afternoon, while Alison Wells was reported in stable condition.
Firefighters from seven departments fought the blaze into Wednesday’s early hours, but couldn’t save the home. The rubble was still smoldering Wednesday afternoon.
The home’s remote location, some 2,000 feet up a winding dirt driveway, posed a problem for firefighters, who found it difficult to negotiate the driveway with large water tankers, officials said. Instead, firefighters set up a portable pool near the base of the driveway and strung hoses from it up to the house.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Wells family have lived in the home since it was built in the late 1960s. All that remained Wednesday was the freestanding garage.
“It’s a total loss,” Scalera said. “We’re just happy everyone survived.”
The family’s two cats have not been accounted for.
The late Stanleigh Wells, Alison’s husband of 59 years, designed the home in 1968. He died June 21, 2012 — five years to the day his family home was lost.