Fayette County deputy reunites with woman he rescued from burning home

A Fayette County sheriff's deputy who rescued a woman from a burning house last week got to reunite with her and share their stories.

On the night of Aug. 16, Karen Chatwin woke up to the smell of smoke in her Plum-area home, just outside La Grange.

"When I opened our door to get out, the flames were right there, so I couldn't get out that way, the house was full of smoke," she said. "I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe, but I managed to grab what was important to me, and that was my little four legger."

Sgt. Ryan Meagher was three minutes away when dispatch told him about the fire on Plum Church Road off SH 71, and that someone was still inside and couldn't get out. When he got there, family members on another part of the property were able to tell Meagher that Chatwin was inside the house.

"I used my baton to break out the window of the room that she was in, and I was able to actually talk to her, it was dark, it was smokey, so I used my flashlight and told her to come to my flashlight, which was the back door of the house, I went around to the back door, was able to get it open, and carried her and her dog outside," Meagher said.

She was treated by EMS for smoke inhalation but is overall okay.


On Monday, Chatwin and Meagher reunited.

"Thank you so, so much," Chatwin said as they hugged.

She also had her dog with her. "This is my baby that was stuck in there with me, and this officer was gracious enough to help us out," she said.

Shortly after the rescue, firefighters arrived to put the fire out. According to FCSO, the official cause is still under investigation.

"I'm also grateful to the firefighters and the volunteers that were out here that night," Chatwin said.

Even though Chatwin and her family lost all their possessions, they're glad they have what's most important. "We're grateful that we got our lives, our family's still intact," Chatwin said.

"You got to react when other people can't react for themselves," Meagher said.

If you want to help the family with household item donations, Chatwin says people can contact her at 385-225-5521.

A GoFundMe has also been set up to help Chatwin and her family.