Woman injured in outbuilding fire on US 31E

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By Randy Patrick

A 71-year-old woman remained in critical condition in University of Louisville Hospital’s burn unit Monday after she was severely injured Saturday in an outbuilding fire at her home on Louisville Road.


Judy Jett suffered severe burns all over her body when a shed or garage she was in caught fire.

Chief Billy Mattingly of Nelson County Fire and Rescue said that a garage door opener apparently sparked and ignited something.

E-911 Dispatch reported the incident at 2:10 p.m. as a “person on fire.”

Before emergency medical personnel and firefighters arrived, several passersby stopped to render assistance and moved the woman to a location near the front porch of the house because there was a propane tank and live wires near the outbuilding, according to Steven Hunt, one of those who stopped to help.

Hunt said they wrapped the woman in blankets and clothes to keep her warm until first responders could get there.

Hunt, of Cox’s Creek, a former U.S. Army medic, said the woman appeared to have third-degree burns over about 70 percent of her body.

However, he said, she was able to walk with others’ help, and “she was alert.”

He said no one else was injured, and the woman’s husband was apparently away when it happened.

A neighbor across the road, Helen McGaughey, said that before the fire, she saw the husband come out and place something in the trash and saw Mrs. Jett around the garage. Then a short time later, she was watching television and looked out and saw the fire.

Melissa Bischoff and Kelly Paxton were also among those who stopped to render aid.

“The lady was on fire when I got here,” Bischoff said.

Nelson County EMS transported the patient to Flaget Memorial Hospital, where a medical helicopter was waiting, but she was not immediately flown to Louisville. Around 3:30 p.m., it was reported that she was still at Flaget, and by 4:30 p.m., it was reported that she had been transferred to the University of Louisville Hospital.

Firefighters from Bardstown and Nelson County Fire and Rescue were on the scene spraying water on the burning building, but it burned down in minutes.

An old Cadillac outside the building also caught fire a second time, long after the building was a smoldering ruin.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 5 p.m.