A 'good samaritan' who pulled woman from fire is seeking answers

11:24 PM, Mar 3, 2013   |    comments
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58-year-old Mary Ann Gill

JACKSONVILLE, Fla---A month ago, a Jacksonville woman died from severe burns during a fire in the woods off Arlington Expressway. Now, the good samaritan who pulled her out of the fire says she and the victim's family are still waiting for answers.

"I'm getting the impression that it's not top priority I was told I would be interviewed by a detective and I haven't been interviewed by a detective," said Melissa Settles, the good samaritan.

On February 2, Settles, a pediatric nurse practitioner, pulled Mary Ann Gill, 58, out of a fire in the woods off Arlington Expressway near Colcord Avenue.

"The only thing she could say to me was baby I'm hurting."

Settles says Gill's entire lower body was on fire and the flames were starting to move up her chest and that's when she removed the shirt off her back to try and put out the flames till rescue arrived. That entire night Settles couldn't get Gill's face out of her mind.

"I was just anxious to try to find out if anything had happened and it was actually your story that I saw when I found out that she had passed away and I just remember falling apart," said Settles.

Gill was transported to Shands Jacksonville and then air lifted to Shands Gainesville's burn unit, but passed away the next day. Since then, Settles has become close to Gill's son and has learned more about the woman she tried to rescue. She was a mother of two sons, now ages 33 and 32. She worked two jobs throughout her life to support her family as a single mother, but fell through hard times before becoming homeless.

"She was also a very trusting person that she was a tiny little woman but she had a lot of spunk," said Settles.

It has not been determined what caused the fire. The family thinks foul play may be a possibility. They know at 5 p.m. that day Gill was dropped off at a nearby gas station, but then at 7:13 p.m. Settles called in the fire to 911.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says it notified the family on February 3rd that the fire was ruled accidental and that there is no foul play involved.

First Coast News

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