BONIFAY -- One man is in critical condition after being rescued from a house fire Monday night.
Holmes County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Medical Services responded to a residential structure fire at 2174 State Road 177 shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, a Bonifay Fire-Rescue news release stated Tuesday. On arrival, first responders met a woman and two small children on the lawn. The woman stated her husband remained in the burning house.
According to the release, in zero-visibility condition, firefighter and emergency medical technician with Holmes County EMS Brandon Justice entered the inflamed single-story brick house through the front bedroom window, where he found homeowner Jimmy Best "lying unconscious, but still breathing on the floor."
Justice moved Best to the bed and passed him through the window to two sheriff's office deputies who, then, passed him to Holmes County EMS for patient care, the release stated.
By 7:59 p.m., the release stated, Bonifay Fire-Rescue had the fire under control. Best was treated and transported by helicopter to a trauma center in Panama City and then transported to Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga. in critical condition from smoke inhalation.
Best's wife, Terri Best, and the two toddlers who escaped the fire were treated and released from Doctors Memorial. Their home had total damage.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the cause of the fire was being investigated by Florida Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations.
"On behalf of Bonifay Fire-Rescue, I would like to thank Firefighter/EMT Justice, Deputies Justin Smith and Dustin Reed for their bravery and courage resulting in saving a life," Bonifay Fire-Rescue Assistant Fire Chief and Paramedic Travis Cook stated in the release.
Agencies on scene included Bonifay Fire-Rescue, Holmes County EMS, Bonifay Police Department, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, and the American Red Cross.
Donations to assist the victims of the fire are being collected. To make a donation, contact Best family friend Heather Sellers at 850-768-3235 or 850-768-1970. Sellers will make arrangements with the family to accept the donations.