UPDATE: Smoke alarm saves family of five in early morning fire - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Smoke alarm saves family of five in early morning fire

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UPDATE: Early Thursday morning a fire broke out causing more than $25,000 in damage.

There is little left amid the charred home on Orchard Knob Avenue. A family picture survived, but everything else was lost.

Sarah Harris, a relative to the family who lived here, says it was smoke alarms that alerted the family inside to get out and call 911.

"I was relieved to know that no one was hurt material things can be replaced but a life can’t,” Harris said.

Investigators believe the fire started in an elderly resident's room that was not home at the time. It was a smoke alarm in that room alerted the rest of the family.

"if it hadn't been for the smoke detectors they could have been overcome in their sleep by the smoke, so I’m just happy and thankful that they had working smoke detectors which saved their lives,” Harris said.

Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department said that having at least one fire alarm in your home more than doubles your chance of surviving a fire like this one.

"The majority of fire fatalities occur is over night when everybody is sleeping and if you don't have a smoke alarm then the fire can break out, it can block your exits then you're trapped and that’s when we have fatalities," Garner said.

The family said they check their alarms often and want other to do the same.

“People please don't take your batteries out of your smoke detectors. People please make sure they are working properly because it is a matter of life and death,” Harris exclaimed.

Fire marshals recommend checking your smoke alarm once a month and change your batteries at least twice a year. They say a good rule of thumb is to change them when you change the time on your clocks during daylight savings time. 


 PREVIOUS STORY: A house fire early Thursday morning has displaced five people, but they are all alive, thanks to a working smoke alarm

Chattanooga Fire Department is on the scene of a residential fire that began at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning in the 800 block of Orchard Knob Avenue.

Captain David Brooks said flames were visible coming from a bedroom window. Residents on the scene told the firefighters that someone might still be inside the house. Battalion Chief Chris Warren said the firefighters searched through the house twice and did not find anyone inside.

However, one of the residents was found a short time later who appeared to be showing symptoms of smoke inhalation. The victim was transported by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

The residents of the house told firefighters that a smoke alarm woke them up. When they got up to investigate, they discovered the fire in the bedroom and all got out of the house safely. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the five adults who lived in the house.

The estimated damage totals $25,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

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