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Family escapes house fire thanks to smoke detectors

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Smoke detector

CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- A Missouri family is thankful to be alive after escaping a house fire early Sunday morning.

The Joplin Fire Department posted a Facebook video showing flames bursting inside of a home while a family was sleeping. A smoke detector triggered a built-in alarm which woke the family up.

"That's why we push smoke detectors," Carbondale Fire Chief Mike Hertz said. "Fire moves pretty quickly."

The video begins with a child sleeping on a sofa and beginning to cough when smoke seeped into the home. Seconds later, flames break through a window and spread inside.

"To be able to actually see a fire move through a house like that, that's very important for people to see," Hertz said.

Investigators believe the fire began on the front porch just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Winds drove the flames to the home, where it blocked the front door and the stairwell. The family escaped through the back of their home unharmed.

"They exited the house, as they should, through the secondary exit because you can see in the video the front door is compromised," Hertz said.

Hertz says there's a lot people can learn from watching the video, like adopting an escape plan and making sure all your smoke detectors are working.

Smoke detectors today are built with a 10-year battery, but Hertz still recommends residents test them out twice a year to make sure they work.

"Every house in the world should have a smoke detector," Hertz said. "It's the easiest, cheapest way of having that front line defense against a fire."

Danny Valle

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