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Local News

February 1, 2014

Fire survivors struggle in aftermath

MALONE — Physicians hope Jared Smith will be able to breathe without the help of a ventilator by Monday. 

The burns the Malone teen suffered in the house fire that killed his mother, Pamela Taylor, on Tuesday were healing well at Fletcher Allen Health Care, according to his father, Kevin Smith.

His son had been responsive but in tremendous pain when he was brought to Alice Hyde Medical Center on Tuesday morning.

Jared also couldn’t see at that time, Kevin said, and once he was in Burlington, he was too heavily medicated to say whether he could or not.

Yet by Friday afternoon, Kevin said, Jared had nodded when asked if he could see. Whether his vision had been damaged, though, wasn’t yet known.

The 19-year-old was in stable but serious condition on Friday.

The ventilator had been removed Wednesday afternoon but was put in use again after one of Jared’s lungs collapsed overnight.

As of Friday night, doctors planned to keep him on the ventilator until Monday. His vitals will be monitored to determine when it will be safe enough to try taking it off again. 

A scope inserted into Jared’s lungs Friday afternoon showed good signs of healing, Kevin said.   

FIRE RAGED ON

Jared, his mother and her boyfriend, Vernon Rivers, had been upstairs sleeping when the fire started at the 20 South St., home. 

Taylor woke them up and called 911, Rivers said, and he began looking for a way to escape. 

With smoke filling the room, Rivers broke out a window and leaped into a nearby truck.

“Between all the fire and mishaps, Jared went downstairs out the front door,” he said.

Though he wasn’t sure, Rivers had believed Taylor followed her son down toward the first floor.

But when Jared emerged emerged from the home, his mother wasn’t with him.

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