Dunedin, FL

An 82-year-old lady died after being rescued from a Dunedin house fire by a neighbor.


The fire is thought to have started accidentally.

An elderly woman who was rescued from a fire in Dunedin has died.Photo byWarren Buckland

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA: According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, an 82-year-old lady died from her injuries after a fire at her residence on Thursday morning. Firefighters rushed just after 9 a.m. to the residence on Palm Lake Lane and Rainbow Drive, where they discovered the structure involved in flames, according to an earlier statement from the Dunedin Fire Department.

Patricia Mitchell has been recognized as the lady. According to her neighbors, she lived alone. On Thursday morning, one of those neighbors, Maurice Upton, heard Mitchell's cries for aid and hurried down the road to assist her.

"Flames were spilling out everywhere," Upton added. "So I went down and opened the screen door, and that's when I saw her, you know, on her back with her feet towards the entrance. But I couldn't see any of her upper body since it was engulfed in flames."

Upton rushed through the flames, grabbed Mitchell's lower torso, and pulled her outside to safety. He said that two aspects of what occurred appeared to be divine intervention. First, despite having recently scheduled an appointment to obtain hearing aids, he heard her from three doors down. Second, he escaped the ordeal with only a little burn on his thumb.

"[Her] voice was heard by God. He put me there and shielded me "Mitchell explained. He is still affected by the whole thing, stating, "I still can't stop sobbing. My eyes are cloudy since I've been sobbing all day."Patricia Mitchell's neighbors consider themselves to be her family.

"Everyone watches out for everyone else," Sandra Drake, a close friend, said. "She was a pleasant individual. We will all miss her terribly."However, frustration, like the odor of smoke in the air, lingers in the neighborhood. That's what he intends to do now, in remembrance of a neighbor, a lady he hardly knew but attempted to rescue.

"I just know I have to keep figuring it out and talking to people and trying to make a difference here, not just for myself but for everyone," Upton concluded. Mitchell was brought to a nearby hospital for treatment, but she died as a result of her injuries.

According to the sheriff's office, an autopsy will be done to identify the cause and manner of death. The fire is thought to have started accidentally.

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