Smoke detectors save family of 6 from house fire


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 6:39 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 28 at 12:34 PM

Map: Near 91st Avenue and Thomas Road

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PHOENIX -- Working smoke detectors gave a family of six, four of them kids, the time they needed to escape their burning home Wednesday morning.

It happened at about 4:30 a.m. in the area of 87th and Virginia avenues, which is south of Thomas Road.

The parents were able to call 911 and the first fire truck was at the house within four minutes, said Capt. Jonathan Jacobs of the Phoenix Fire Department. All six people, including four kids ranging in age from 10 to 17, were making their way outside to safety.

"They heard the fire in the garage," he said. "They heard some popping noises and then smoke detectors immediately went off."

Jacobs said the family did everything exactly right, especially having those smoke detectors in place. He urges everybody to follow their lead. Firefighters always say working smoke detectors are one of the best things you have in your home to protect your family.

"It doubles your chances of survival in an incident," he said.

The parents, their two kids and two cousins who were staying with them, all escaped unhurt. One of the cousins, a 17-year-old girl who is pregnant, was taken to a local hospital as a precaution. "She had come in contact with some smoke, felt like she needed to be evaluated," Jacobs explained.

Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames, containing the worst of the damage to the garage. Two cars in the garage were destroyed. The popping noises the family heard was the tires bursting. Firefighters say that's normal in this kind of fire.

At this point, investigators do not know what sparked the fire, but they believe it was accidental.