Woman killed in Terrace Heights house fire

Woman killed in Terrace Heights house fire

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- A scream for help heard across one Terrace Heights neighborhood. A woman killed in an early morning fire along the 2800 block of Pilot Lane.

Investigators are now working to determine the cause of that fire. Action News spoke with neighbors awakened from sleep by the chaos.

"Came to the window, said he saw her at the window. Attempted to pull her through the window," said East Valley Fire Chief Mike Riel.

A husband's frantic attempt to save his wife.
 
"I heard someone scream, 'Lori! I'm sorry!'" said Debbie McLain who called for help.

At first, neighbors didn't know what was happening. They called 9-1-1 thinking they were hearing gunshots. It didn't take long to see the flames and hear the calls for help echo through the neighborhood.

"Henry was out in the front screaming my wife's in the bedroom. My wife's still in the house," McLain said.

Randy Henry was able to get out of his burning house without being hurt. He told firefighters he thought his wife was following right behind him. When he turned around, he noticed she wasn't there. It was too dangerous to go back inside - getting her out of the window was his only hope.

"Was not able to hoist her. Asked her to go back and get onto a chair and that wasn't successful," Riel said.

East Valley firefighters said 50-year-old Lori Henry died before they got there.

The coroner confirmed she died from smoke inhalation.

Authorities think the mistaken sounds of gunshots were probably explosions caused by heat.

"My husband got up to go out to see if he could help but by then it was just all in flames," said Betty Le Adams, a neighbor.

Firefighters think it might have started around the garage, but they don't know the cause.

Crews said the fire also spread to surrounding bushes and even started to climb nearby power lines.

"It was awful, it was terrible," McLain said.

KIMA learned Randy Henry is a long-time science teacher at East Valley High School. Lori often volunteered there.

Word of the fire stunned students and faculty along with this neighborhood still reeling from an unimaginable early morning wake up call.

The Fire Marshals office is on the case. An insurance investigator is also working to determine the cause of the fire.

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