5 Kids, 3 adults owe lives to smoke detectors

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Smoke detectors likely saved the lives of five children and three adults when a fast-moving fire tore through their Chandler home in the predawn hours of Friday morning.

It happened at a home southeast of Frye Road and Arizona Avenue, not far from Folley Memorial Park. The alarm starting blaring at about 3 a.m., waking the sleeping family and giving them the precious minutes to safely escape.

The fire started on the back porch and quickly spread to the house itself.

According to firefighters, an electrical issue is likely to blame, specifically the outlet where a new dryer had been plugged in.

"We believe the fire started possibly in the wiring that was done to supply power for that new dryer," said Bill Evans of the Chandler Fire Department.

The fire destroyed the house back porch. The inside of the home also sustained serious damage.

The best news, however, is that no injuries were reported. Firefighters said the smoke detectors played a huge role in that, and that rescuing eight people would have been extremely difficult.

Firefighters have always advocated the use of smoke detectors. In fact, they say when it comes to protecting your family from a house fire, the best thing you can do, after removing hazards, is install working smoke alarms in your home.

“We know smoke detectors save lives,” said Capt. Scott Walker of the Phoenix Fire Department while demonstrating a new talking smoke detector in October.

Friday morning's fire proved that once again.

The family is now staying with relatives who live nearby. In addition, the Red Cross has sent volunteers to offer support and aid as the family try to determine what they can salvage from their home.