Smoke alarms alert couple to house fire

Feb 04, 2014

A couple and their three dogs safely escaped after smoke alarms alerted them to a fire in their home in the Meadowdale area of unincorporated Snohomish County last night.

The fire in the 4800 block of 164th St. SW was reported by the homeowners at about 11:40 p.m. “They told firefighters the smoke alarms woke them up,” said Leslie Hynes, public information officer for Snohomish County Fire District 1. “Firefighters could see smoke and flames in the attached garage when they arrived.”

Firefighters from Fire District 1 and the Lynnwood Fire Department responded and had the fire under control within about 15 minutes. No one was injured.

“Firefighters were able to stop the fire before it reached the living area of the house, but there was smoke damage throughout the structure,” Hynes said.

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire and determined it was started by an overheated electrical cord to a space heater that had been left turned on in the garage to prevent a piece of drywall equipment from freezing overnight. Damage to the house and contents is estimated at more than $130,000.

“This fire could have had a more tragic outcome if it weren’t for the smoke alarms that woke the homeowners and gave them time to escape,” Hynes said.

Fire District 1 offers these tips to keep smoke alarms in working order:

• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

• Replace batteries in smoke alarms twice a year. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when you change your clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

• Smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old should be replaced. Aging smoke alarms are unreliable and often are the source of nuisance alarms.

• Make sure you have smoke alarms where you need them. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom and hallway.

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