Woman rescues elderly grandma from burning Bellevue building

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A Bellevue woman rescued her bedridden grandmother from a burning apartment above a preschool on Sunday, rushing in as smoke and flames filled the unit.

"What I could see was just huge flames coming off the top half," said Becca Miller.

Miller knew her 82-year-old grandmother was trapped. She first received a frightening phone call from her grandma on Sunday night and raced over to help.

"I just ran right up the stairs and that's how I could tell how bad it actually was," Miller said.

The fire had started in the grandmother's apartment, which sits above the Bridle Trails Preschool.

When she arrived, Miller found her grandmother upstairs heading the wrong way.

"I get her turned around and the black smoke is coming at us. I can see the orangey glow of the flames in her bedroom just getting worse and worse," she said.

The grandmother is bedridden, so Miller knew she'd have to rush in, hoist her up and carry her to safety.

"It was pretty incredible how black that smoke was, just hitting us straight in the face. It felt like someone was pushing you backwards," she said.

The fire heavily damaged the apartment, and the firefight left much of the school in shambles.

About 80 children attend Bridle Trails, which offers unique learning experiences across a sprawling campus. But the fire shut down class indefinitely.

"It's hard to see," Miller said. "It's almost being ripped out from underneath you. We want this place up and going because we have so many families that we love and they love it here as well."

Initial estimates put the damage at $250,000, but that could change. The family is working with insurance adjusters to get the school open again.

The grandmother went to the hospital for smoke inhalation, but she has since been released. Fire investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire, but they say it is not suspicious.