FLORENCE — A father was injured Tuesday when he broke a window in his house and lifted his two children to safety during a predawn house fire.
“He cut his hand really bad and was burned, but he got the children out safely,” Vonda Green said in describing the efforts of her son, Timothy Shane Green, to save his children.
Authorities said Green, 39, was taken to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital early Tuesday after everyone was safely out of his house at 421 Enterprise St. in east Florence.
He and his children — Trinity, 2, and Devin, 6 — were treated at ECM. Hospital officials said the two children were later taken by ambulance to the burn center at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.
Kathy Bowers, a spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital, said Trinity is in serious condition, while Devin is in good condition.
Shane Green’s right hand was severely cut and his mother said doctors had to perform surgery before he was transferred to UAB.
Authorities said Shane Green also suffered burns. ECM officials said he was transferred to UAB on Tuesday afternoon. UAB officials said Green was in critical condition Tuesday in the facility’s burn center.
“He did what a parent would do; he was protecting his children,” Florence Fire Deputy Chief Jeffery Perkins said.
Florence Fire Marshal Danny Simbeck called Green a hero.
“In my opinion, he’s a hero,” Simbeck said. “He was thinking of his children first, trying to get them to safety.”
Vonda Green said Trinity suffered smoke inhalation, while Devin sustained some burns and scratches on his body.
“They should be OK,” Vonda Green said. “We’ve got a lot of prayers going on right now for all of them. We know they’re in God’s hands.”
Firefighters were called to the two-story frame structure at 4:35 a.m. The residence is just off Veterans Drive.
Perkins said firefighters who responded to the scene reported seeing flames coming from the house as they arrived.
“You could see smoke and flames when we turned onto the street,” Florence Fire Battalion Chief Terry Willett said. “(The fire) had already vented out a window, and flames were rolling on the first floor and second floor.”
Willett said Green and his children were out of the house and at a neighbor’s residence when firefighters arrived. He said the fire broke though a window on the north side of the house near the kitchen and den.
The fire’s heat was so intense the vinyl siding on the house melted and was peeling near the north windows.
Window blinds in a second-story window melted from the heat.
“It looks like it went up the wall into the attic,” Simbeck said.
Vonda Green said her son and the children slept in a front bedroom, near the living room. The area is in the opposite corner of the house from the den and kitchen.
Willett said flames shot out of the house when the entry team opened the front door.
“We put in a line through the window (on the north side of the house) and one through the front door,” Willett said. “Those guys on the entry team did a good job getting the fire under control pretty quick.”
The state fire marshal’s office was called to assist Florence fire investigators in determining the cause of the fire, which is common practice in fires that involve injuries.
Investigators concentrated their efforts in the den and kitchen, but the origin of the fire was not immediately determined.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.