Local News

Fayetteville police officer credits fire crew with saving her life

Posted July 24, 2015 10:33 p.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2015 7:58 a.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville police officer credits local firemen with saving her life after her car filled with natural gas last month.

Jennifer Bullington said she happened upon a natural gas leak near the intersection of Ramsey Street and Law Road on June 16. Her car filled with gas before she called for help and began directing traffic away from the scene.

After the leak was capped, Bullington said she started feeling overheated and tried to cool down.

"Honestly, if it were not for engine three and the crew members of that Fayetteville fire department, I don't think I would be here today," Bullington said.

The crew members said they saw her in a parking lot trying to cool off and quickly started what turned out to be lifesaving treatment.

"We got her to the truck and actually put her in our truck and used it kind of like a rehab," said Capt. Justin Nobles.

"She wasn't saying much," said Chiara Furlanetto-Duehning, with the Fayetteville Fire Department. "She was just saying she tried to get some water, but then she really couldn't drink it. She was so overheated."

Bullington said she suffered from chemical pheumonitis. Her lungs were burned from breathing in the natural gas.

"I stayed in the hospital at that time for four days," she said. "I had around the clock respiratory treatments."

First responders say that is the reason they try to keep spectators back during a natural gas leak.

"It is for everybody's safety. We try to get everybody back," Nobles said. "Once we get the leak controlled, then we can check and make sure the levels and stuff are where they are supposed to be."

Bullington said she is working to get her life back to normal and is pulling administrative duties as she recovers.