Aways use caution when using Heat lamps & extension cords in your coops this happened in Winnabago county WI and this lady was lucky, Please be VERY VERY CARFUL Deputy smelled smoke, helped save a woman By Jennifer K. Woldt of The Northwestern January 4, 2009 Buzz up! A deputy who followed up after smelling smoke on a windy night is credited with saving a woman from a potentially deadly situation. Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Weisse was patrolling in a rural area in the western part of the county near Breezewood Lane when he smelled smoke at 4:23 a.m. Dec. 13. It is not unusual for residents to burn items in that area of the county, but Weisse said because the winds were gusting up to 40 miles per hour, he thought it would be best for him to go check it out. That turned out to be a good decision. While looking for the source of the smoke, Weisse found two chicken coops at 4705 County Trunk G that were engulfed in flames. Trees near the structures had also caught on fire and the strong winds were blowing embers at the residence. Weisse tried to find out if anyone was in the residence. While standing on a small wooden deck at the back of the house, Weisse realized he should try a different approach. "I looked down and I saw flames coming up at my feet," Weisse said. "I thought that wasn't the best area to be making contact with people." Weisse went around to a different door and eventually made contact with Karen McFarland, who lived in the residence. Smoke detectors were going off inside and Weisse got McFarland, who was disorientated, and her two Labradors out of the residence and warmed up while firefighters fought the blaze. McFarland was taken to a local hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. An investigation determined the cause of fire was electrical in nature and involved extension cords powering heat lamps and electric waterers in the coops, said town of Vinland Fire Chief Jay Schmoker. The two chicken coops were damaged, Schmoker said, and the residence also suffered some fire damage to two exterior doors and the attached porch, as well as water and smoke damage. If no one had reported it or he hadn't stumbled up on it, the fire would have been deadly, Weisse said. Winnebago County Sheriff Michael Brooks agreed. "It really is a case of thanks to him, this woman will enjoy Christmas," Brooks said. Jennifer K. Woldt: (920) 426-6676 or [email protected].