Smoke alarm saves Phoenix woman's life

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PHOENIX – A 66-year-old Phoenix woman is alive this morning because of a $10 smoke alarm.

The woman was asleep at her home near 17th Street and Glendale Avenue when the loud noise of her smoke detector awakened her just before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The woman, who lives alone, woke to find fire surrounding her and flames actually on the bed.

While she did manage to escape, it was an extremely close call. Fire singed her hair and burned her hands.

Firefighters say this woman is proof positive that smoke alarms do indeed save lives.

“This is a [smoke alarm] you can buy for $10 at any hardware store, and it saved her life,” said Capt. Tony Mure of the Phoenix Fire Department. “You hear about it all the time, and we preach it – smoke detectors save lives. This is truly the case.

“By looking at this house and the amount of fire damage and the injuries to her, she was literally minutes away from losing her life.”

The woman, whose name has not been released, did not realize she was burned at first. She was just grateful to be alive and thankful she had purchased and installed that smoke alarm.

The woman was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, but it’s expected that she will be just fine.

Firefighters recommend that you test your smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries each year. The device itself should be replaced about every 10 years.

Firefighters also suggest you set up and practice an escape plan, making sure you have two ways out of every room in the house.

Restoration crews were on the scene of Tuesday morning’s fire, assessing the extensive damage and boarding up the house.

It’s not known how the fire started.