Firefighters save senior citizen from burning Parker County home

First responders got to a Parker County house fire just in time to save a senior citizen trapped by the flames and smoke.         

They needed to get through the thick smoke to find the 83-year-old woman in her Springtown home during Tuesday night's storms that caused all the flash flooding.

Investigators think it was a lightning strike from the severe weather that started the fire.

La Junta Fire Department responded to Gelena White’s home after a frantic 911 call. She was trapped inside of her burning home, but she was still able to guide first responders to her bedroom.                     

In the 911 call, White told Parker County dispatchers she was in a wheelchair but that the fire was blocking the ramp to get out.

As LaJunta firefighters struggled to get through the house, White stayed on the phone with the dispatcher and gave directions on how to get to her bedroom.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler says lighting from Tuesday's intense thunderstorms struck electrical wiring in White’s home.

Juanita Gunnels lives across the road.

“I hear the lightning strike. I thought it struck in our yard,” she recalled. “It was a loud boom. It shook the whole house.”

But when Gunnels looked outside, she saw fire trucks and police lights.

“It was frightening. I was so worried about her,” she said. “I was afraid that if the house was on fire and we couldn’t see it. I thought she might be burned.”

Gunnels is looking forward to seeing her neighbor back at home soon and chatting at the mailbox on their street.

White is expected to be okay.