An 81-year old woman dying in a fire in her home of 40 years is tragic enough.
The fact firefighter put the fire out and left without realizing she was in there makes the pain for friends and relatives that much worse.
I know firefighters went inside that North St. Louis County home on Groveland Drive early Tuesday morning. I saw it on video shot by one of my colleagues.
I wonder why they didn't look harder. One of the soundbites from a deputy chief with the Northeast Fire Protection District bothered me a litte. He mentioned crews did three or four sweeps through the home but there was a lot of debris because the elderly woman was apparently a hoarder (which of course is very sad, too). He went on to say, "It was going to take a long time in the middle of the night to haul all the debris out of the house and find her."
Yeah, so what? If I'm that woman's Godson, who ultimately got the firefighter back out there to find his Godmother, I'm saying, "I don't care how long it takes. You find my Godmother." I would imagine he said something like that.
What an embarrassment for the fire department... but what bothers me more is that someone's loved one was left inside a burned out building and no one seemed to care enough to find out she was there... in her tub... covered in debris. They found her more than five hours later after the Godson convinced them she was in there.
What a terrible, undignified way to go.
For more on Gloria Banks' life through the eyes of a close friend and neighbor, watch my report at Wednesday at 6pm on News 4.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.