MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - An elderly husband and wife remained in serious condition in the USA Medical Center Burn Unit Sunday night after they were pulled, unconscious, from their burning home.
Family members and friends are praying the couple will pull through while fire investigators try to determine what caused the Friday night fire.
Robert MinnieField said a strange noise alerted him about the fire on Japonica Lane around 8:30 Saturday night.
"I heard popping sounds. I was laying there watching TV and I kept hearing popping sounds and I got up and looked out the window, and when I looked I saw a big blaze coming from the back. And I attempt to call the fire department, and when I picked the phone up they was already on their way," Minniefield said.
Minniefield didn't realize his elderly neighbors, William and Mary Norris were still inside the home.
The home was still smoldering Sunday morning as fire investigators sifted through the rubble searching for the cause.
The fire started in the back of the home. Fire officials said the elderly couple was trying to get to the front door when they collapsed.
"They made entry at the front door found a male just inside the door. Brought him out and loaded him to take to the hospital. Went back in and found the female just a little bit further in. Brought her out and took her to the hospital," Steve Huffman with Mobile Fire-Rescue Department said.
Huffman said, initially, the couple was taken to separate hospitals.
A woman who said she was a family member told FOX10 the wife was moved from Springhill Memorial to the USA Burn Unit. The woman didn't know Norris' age, but she said his wife Mary is 76.
Firefighters said victims can easily be overcome by smoke before they can make it to safety, even when the door is just a few feet away.
"That's the thing about smoke and heat. People assume that they can just get through it, and what usually happens is exactly what happened last night was you get overcome by the smoke and the heat," Huffman said.
Huffman said rather than walking or running out of a burning house, the safest thing to do is get on the floor and crawl out.
Huffman said the couple's adult son was not home at the time of the fire.
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