An Oneida man was airlifted to a Knoxville hospital last week, after an apartment fire damaged his family’s home.
Keith Williams, of Oneida, was airlifted with non-life-threatening burn injuries following the Tuesday evening (April 9) fire, which occurred at the LaFollette Housing complex behind the Big Orange Country Store in Oneida.
Oneida Fire Department was first on the scene of the two-alarm fire, and later received assistance from Mid-County Volunteer Fire Department.
Williams, who was home with his wife when the fire began, received second-degree burns to both feet, his left arm and his back. He was transported by Scott County EMS to Big South Fork Medical Center, and airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for evaluation and treatment.
The couple’s two children were not home when the fire occurred.
Oneida Fire Chief Mike Stringer said that the fire began in the living room of the home, but that its origin has not yet been determined.
Stringer said the blaze blocked both exit doors, forcing the couple to crawl through a window to escape the flames. Leslie Williams was able to escape without injury.
The fire was reported at 7:39 p.m. The first firefighters arrived on the scene within five minutes. In all, 12 firefighters from Oneida responded. Stringer said that he summoned mutual aid from Mid-County VFD because the fire occurred in the housing projects and he wasn't immediately sure what his department might be dealing with.
The home — a singular unit — is repairable, Stringer said. Because of firefighters' quick response, the fire was contained to the living room and kitchen area of the home.
"We got it knocked out pretty quick because we were there within five minutes of the call," Stringer said.
Williams was released from physicians' care on Wednesday and is recovering.
The Tuesday fire was one of two residential fires the two fire departments teamed up to battle last week. On Friday afternoon, a structure fire in the Cherry Fork community drew a response from Mid-County, which requested mutual aid from Oneida.