Lt. Eddie Hefner’s mother Pam McElhaney died Thursday following a fire at her son's home on Sunday
The mother of a Tennessee Lieutenant has died after being trapped in a house fire at her son’s home.
In a statement shared on the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook on Thursday morning, it was confirmed that Lt. Eddie Hefner’s mom Pam McElhaney had died following the incident on Sunday.
“On behalf of Lt. Eddie Hefner, he is grateful and humbled by the kindness, love and support he has received following the recent loss of his home to a house fire,” the statement began. “Sadly, Lt. Hefner is now dealing with a much greater loss, the passing of his mother, Pam McElhaney.”
“We, his HCSO family, ask that you continue to pray for Lt. Hefner and his entire family during this most difficult time,’” the statement added.
PEOPLE reached out to the West Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department, but they did not immediately respond for comment.
According to local media outlet WVLT, McElhaney was stuck inside the home as it caught fire, but she was rescued by authorities and was taken to the hospital.
Local media outlet WATE 6 reported that McElhaney was rescued by Austin Rutherford, an off-duty firefighter with the Morristown Fire Department, who happened to be in the area at the time.
“We were at church on Sunday night, and after church let out one of the members came and got me and said the house behind the church was on fire,” Rutherford told the outlet.
The firefighter said soon after he walked around the house to try and find a way in, the West Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department arrived.
“You could see flames coming out of the bedroom where they believed that she was whenever the fire started,” continued Rutherford, who suited up and ran into the home to find McElhaney.
“I saw her on the floor,” he told the outlet. “So at that point, I hollered out that I had her and pulled her into the hallway. Once I pulled her into the hallway, I was able to get her and drag her to the front door where EMS was able to get her.”
According to a GoFundMe page set up on behalf of Hefner by his colleague Lt. Statler Collins, his mother was flown to a burn center in Nashville. Furthermore, Hefner was not at home at the time of the fire. The GoFundMe page has received over $5,000 in donations so far.
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A previous statement shared by the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook Tuesday said that although McElhaney had “suffered from severe smoke inhalation, she is miraculously now breathing on her own.” “She will, however, remain hospitalized for an unknown length of time,” the statement continued.
According to her obituary, McElhaney, who was from Morristown, was 70 years old and was both a grandmother and great-grandmother. Her funeral is due to take place on Sunday at Westside Chapel Funeral Home.
Per WATE 6, Hefner has been with the sheriff’s office for over 25 years.
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