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Windsor woman improving after rescue from house fire

  • Sue Skuja, left with her husband Uldis of Windsor Vt., look around the ols National Guardr Armory during an open house on Sept. 10, 2017. The couple had their wedding reception at the armory 50 years ago on Saturday. Marcia Mitchell, of Windsor, was also looking over the building at the open house. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

  • Firefighters spray water on a single-family home in Windsor, Vt., on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Departments from Windsor, West Windsor, Hartland, Claremont and other locations responded to the scene. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

  • A chimney remains standing at a house fire in Windsor, Vt., on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. The home, at 2628 Route 44, was destroyed. Two people lived in the home, according to a neighbor. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2021 10:55:01 PM
Modified: 9/22/2021 10:55:04 PM

WINDSOR — A Windsor woman who suffered serious smoke inhalation when her Route 44 home was destroyed by fire late Friday afternoon is making progress in a Boston hospital, according to her brother.

Suzanne Skuja, who turned 76 last month, remains in the intensive care unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital but “has improved every day,” her younger brother, Claremont resident Donald Taylor, said Wednesday.

Although she is still not talking, he said he is hopeful that she will continue to recover.

“She’s improving, not leaps and bounds, but she went through a lot,” Taylor said.

First responders carried Skuja, who was trapped by the fire, out of a window at the home at 2628 Route 44, just west of Estey Lane and the former Sitzmark Ski Shop. Her husband, Uldis Skuja, also suffered smoke inhalation in the fire, which appears to have started in the carport, and was taken to Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor. He was released on Saturday and is now staying with the couple’s two sons in Connecticut, Taylor said.

Windsor Fire Chief Kevin McAllister said the cause of the fire is still officially undetermined but that “a car in the carport is being looked at.” Like the house, it was heavily damaged in the fire.

McAllister said via email Tuesday evening that he was “extremely proud of the good Samaritans that initially made entry and tried to save” Suzanne Skuja and of a Windsor police officer who then tried to pull her from the window “from an impossible angle.”

McAllister said he was “most proud of my two firefighters that went in another window, got to her and worked hard to lift her out the window as all other means of egress were blocked by smoke and fire. Conditions in that room were rapidly deteriorating.”

One of the firefighters and the police officer were treated for smoke inhalation at Mt. Ascutney and released from the hospital Friday evening.

The home was built by former Windsor Police Chief Thomas Taylor about 55 years ago and was co-owned by his two children, Suzanne Skuja and Taylor.

“Once my sister gets out of the hospital, we’ll figure out where to go from there,” Donald Taylor said.

John P. Gregg can be reached at 603-727-3217 or jgregg@vnews.com.




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