Clint Eastwood collects daughter from hospital after fire

Thursday, December 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Clint Eastwood took his daughter home from a hospital Wednesday, following her narrow escape with Eastwood's ex-girlfriend from a Christmas-morning house fire.

Frances Fisher sustained severe burns to her hands, while her daughter with Eastwood, Francesca, 8, clambered from her bedroom window to the garage roof and jumped into a neighbor's arms.

The fire, which began about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, caused extensive damage to all three levels of the house.

``There was fire on all floors _ the basement, the main floor and the upper levels. That indicates it was burning for a while,'' assistant fire chief Steve Atkinson said. ``They're very, very fortunate to have escaped alive.''

Francesca was taken to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver to be treated for smoke inhalation, and her mother was admitted with second-degree burns to her hands.

Eastwood arrived in Vancouver on a private jet Tuesday and visited Francesca. She was released into his care Wednesday evening.

``She was a pretty brave little gal because she was disoriented when she was inside (the house) because it was all smoked,'' Eastwood told BC-CTV.

Fisher appeared in Eastwood's Oscar-winning western ``Unforgiven'' and her most recent notable role was as the mother of heroine Rose in the blockbuster movie ``Titanic.''

She was in Vancouver shooting the new television series ``Glory Days'' by ``Dawson's Creek'' creator Kevin Williamson.

Filming of the series, which was on Christmas hiatus, is scheduled to resume early in the New Year. Production manager Liz Stainforth said the production will work around whatever time Fisher needs to recuperate.

``We love Frances dearly and we're worried how our friend is doing.''

She said reports that Fisher would be recast were incorrect.

``Glory Days'' stars Eddie Cahill, 23, as a murder-mystery writer who returns to his idyllic and fictional home town of Glory Island, Wash., to investigate the supposedly accidental death of his father.

Fisher plays Cahill's mother, Mitzi Dolan.

The Fishers' neighbors, Tim Charters and his mother Katherine, said they were awakened early Tuesday by the sound of screaming and rushed out to help.

Tim Charters said Francesca was at first too afraid to jump from the roof of the garage to safety.

``She was sort of huddled up against the wall and she looked pretty scared,'' Charters recalled. ``She wasn't moving at all ... We had to coax her to come out so she could jump down.''