DEVELOPING: Woman rescued from fire identified

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

(WEAU) - The Altoona Fire Department has released the name of a woman rescued from a house fire Thursday.

Altoona Fire Chief James Small says Shirley Zetter, 87, is still in the hospital but is expected to recover. Zetter was rescued by two strangers when a fire broke out at her home on Hamilton Avenue.

Small says the cause of the fire is still unknown, but does not appear to be suspicious.

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- All through life, there are times where we meet people in the strangest of places, at the strangest of times.

And on Thursday, so was the case with Ray Sepulveda and Jackie Goss.

"Just happened to be driving by on this frontage street here," Sepulveda said.

He is a Jehovah’s Witness who was spreading his ministry in the neighborhood. Goss was on her way to the bank.

Two people, who had never met, brought together when they saw flames coming from this house and a woman trapped in the doorway.

"And when I went up to the door and I saw she was jammed in the doorway, so right away just pulled the door the rest of the way thinking how can we get her out?" Goss said.

Both remember the sights and sounds in front of them. A home on fire, smoking filling the air, and an unconscious woman.

By now you are probably asking yourself whether you'd do the same faced with it all. It was a split second decision that boy say they did not hesitate making.

"I didn't think about it, we just helped her out and it was more of a reaction than anything," Sepulveda said.

They were able to free her from the door and carry her to a van until medical crews arrived.

Goss is thankful that Sepulveda was in the neighborhood at the time.

"If Ray wasn't here, I don't know if I could have lifted her myself with the way she was wedged under the door, so I'm thankful for that," she added.

A Jehovah’s Witness who today spread more than his ministry. A woman who made an unexpected stop on the way to the bank. Two people who may never meet again.

But in seconds, made a world of difference, for one.

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UPDATE: Firefighters tell us they have the house fire under control. Crews are doing clean up now. Watch for live updates at 5 and 6 p.m.
Tonight at 10 p.m., reporter Kevin Hurd will bring us the amazing story of how two strangers came together to become heroes to a woman inside the burning home.

The Altoona Police Chief could not comment on the woman's condition.

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Altoona - (WEAU) We are currently on the scene of a house fire as black smoke is pouring from a home in Altoona. Our reporter says he saw one person being taken away on a stretcher. There's no word on who that person is, or the extent of their injuries.

Firefighters are battling flames at a home in the 3200 block of Hamilton in Altoona at this hour.

There's no word on what caused it but thick black smoke can be seen pouring from the home.

Our reporter on scene says flames are coming from the home and crews have streets blocked off and are re-routing traffic.

Watch for the latest on weau.com, WEAU 13 News at 5, 6 and 10 as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages.


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