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Published March 29, 2012, 10:20 PM

Daughter of Moorhead fire victim thankful for quick response

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - You can credit firefighters for the saving the life of a Moorhead homeowner, dragged from her burning home. They found her using thermal imagery. Eighty-six year-old Elaine Carlson's remains in intensive care tonight. She was taken to Sanford for smoke inhalation.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

You can credit firefighters for the saving the life of a Moorhead homeowner, dragged from her burning home. They found her using thermal imagery. Eighty-six year-old Elaine Carlson's remains in intensive care tonight. She was taken to Sanford for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters tell us the fire started in the kitchen area. They left after about five hours of investigating, fighting flames and flare-ups, along with a lifesaving rescue you will only see on WDAY.

Sandra Carlson – Victim’s Daughter: “When I left she was sitting in front of the TV, watching TV.”

Moments after her 86 year-old mother is pulled from her burning home, Elaine Carlson's daughter arrives on scene.

Sandra Carlson: “My sister in Detroit Lakes called and she said, ‘how bad is it?’ And I said, ‘how bad is what?’ and she said, ‘you mean you don't know yet?’”

Sandra Carlson was on her way home, within blocks of the blaze when she heard of this remarkable rescue with three firefighters lifting her unconscious mom to safety.

Greg Doeden: “The conditions were definitely worsening at that time. We had a lot of fire showing when showed up.”

Crews had to deal with intense flames and thick smoke filling the home, mostly near the back of the rambler. They had no idea, Elaine Carlson, was just feet away, near death on the living room floor. Firefighters say they found her just in time.

Greg Doeden: “Nobody knew if anybody was in or not. There was a neighbor that was there. We talked to police officers.”

Sandra Carlson: “We live in a neighborhood where there's not a lot of young people so they aren't all gone so I'm thankful for whoever called in because this could have been a lot worse than it is if it had gone unnoticed.”

Sandra herself narrowly escaped being in the blaze by stopping at a store.

Sandra Carlson: “If I hadn't done that I would've been home too, so I don't know if that would've been a good thing or a bad thing.”

Now she's just thankful this group of guys was in the right place at the right time. Still, Sandra is left questioning what went wrong.

Sandra Carlson: “There was nothing left on and my mom doesn't cook.”

Sandra tells us, she has no insurance to deal with the extensive damage, only renters insurance for business equipment. The mother and daughter plan to stay with nearby family. They've lived here since 1961.

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