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February 28, 2014

Malone fire victim healing quickly

MALONE — Doctors say Jared Smith is recovering faster than expected after suffering severe burns in a house fire last month.

Jared, 19, had been staying with his mother, Pamela Taylor, and her boyfriend, Vernon Rivers, at their home on 20 South St. when a fire broke out on the night of Jan. 28.

Jared’s father, Kevin, said no cause for the fire in the two-story house has been determined yet.

Taylor was unable to escape the home and died of asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation, according to a coroner’s report.

Jared and Rivers were able to get out but were transported to Alice Hyde Medical Center. Rivers was treated for smoke inhalation and released, while Jared was transferred to Fletcher Allen Medical Center and held for treatment until Feb. 6.

‘TAKING IT EASY’

Since being released, Jared has been staying at his father’s home in Malone. Speaking by phone this week, Jared said he has been doing well and focusing on rest and recovery.

“I’m just hanging out, taking it easy,” he said, “My friends are coming to see me, so I don’t really need to go anywhere.”

Cold temperatures were another reason for Jared to stay indoors, his father said. Although no longer on a ventilator, Jared still has difficulty breathing occasionally and was being kept inside for his own comfort.

FAST RECOVERY

Since his release, he has been going back to Burlington for follow-up appointments while awaiting a local treatment plan.

At his latest appointment, doctors said Jared’s recovery was coming along well.

“They’re surprised because I’m recovering really fast,” he said.

Doctors said his lungs, which had collapsed a number of times early on in his treatment, sounded healthy despite the occasional breathing difficulties.

His eyesight is still blurry, Jared said, but is improving, with some days being better than others.

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