Woman killed in Lebanon house fire, 2 others hurt

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman was killed and two others were injured in a Wilson County fire early Tuesday morning.

The fire started just before 4 a.m. at a small home on West Forrest Avenue.

Fire crews arrived in about four minutes, but the home was already about 70 percent consumed by flames.

The victim, identified as 52-year-old Roberta Ruiz, died at the scene.

“This is what we train for every day, and then when these things happen, you kind of go into your work-mode and you get busy.” said Jason Baird, assistant fire chief with the Lebanon Fire Department.

Seeing homes destroyed by fires is something Baird sees quite a bit, but it’s never easy when it claims someone’s life.

Baird told News 2 they tried desperately to save the victim in Tuesday’s fire.

“These guys put everything on the line tonight trying to get in there and save that life,” he explained. “When these things happen, it is heart-wrenching for the families involved. It is heart-wrenching for our firefighters.”

He continued, “It is something they have to deal with personally, and we make sure they are in good shape. You always want to make sure you did the very best you could do and there is no doubt considering the circumstances they did the best they could.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation but foul play is not suspected.

A 67-year-old man identified as Larry Murray was also critically injured in the fire. A 48-year-old man was also hurt, but has since been treated and released.