CPR Saves Senior Citizen’s Life in Tampa

Written by Benjamin Roussey

 An 89-year old man has been admitted, in serious condition, to the burn unit at Tampa General Hospital, following a fire that gutted his home.

The elderly man named Charles “Luke” Davis lived on 22nd Avenue South in St. Petersburg where he became trapped by a major fire. Neighbors smelled smoke but failed to rescue the man due to the raging fire that had engulfed his entire home.

Neighbor Marcus Byrd says, “Me and the next door neighbor opened the back door and tried to go inside. But I ended up getting burned and couldn’t get in.”

Fortunately for Davis, the Fire Rescue units of St. Petersburg happened to be close to the site dealing with another call – enabling them to respond to this call quickly. They took less than five minutes to reach the site. Two firefighters crawled into the home through the back door.

Firefighter Chris Spafford says, “It was very smoky. I couldn’t see anything. There was a pretty good amount of heat. The only thing that really led me to the victim was, I heard him cough.”

Spafford along with his fellow firefighter Brad Williams brought the victim out of the burning home into the backyard.

Davis was in a state of respiratory arrest and the firefighters used CPR to revive him.

He was rushed to the Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg at first, and then moved to Tampa General to treat burns to his throat.

Davis is a retired city worker, and lives alone. The neighbors look after Davis, and he recently attended two different Thanksgiving dinners at his neighbors’ homes.

Dana Sims considers Davis as an uncle and spends time with him. He says that Davis got the nickname “Luke” long ago.

Sims recalls, “He was called Luke Lightning. When he was 13, in Mulberry, Florida where he was born, he was struck by lightning. So when he recovered, everyone started calling him Luke Lightning.”

A number of people in the neighborhood like to call him Mr. Luke. People are hoping that Mr. Luke’s luck holds out and he can manage to recover well from his injuries.




Benjamin Roussey

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