Family safe after alerted to fire - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Smoke detector credited for helping family of 5 escape burning home

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AHWATUKEE, Ariz. - An early morning house fire left a family of five without a home or car, but they're thankful to be alive -- all because they took precautions. 

According to the Phoenix Fire Department and the family, they escaped that fire safely because the home was equipped with working smoke detectors.

"I was so scared that I couldn't even run out.. I just stopped for a minute," said 11-year-old N'sayshable Thomas.

Thomas said the inside of the house was filled with smoke.  She couldn't see much as she followed her 12-year-old brother Charles outside.

"Like a wildfire," said Charles.  "The car caught on fire.. the garage fell."

Five people live in the Ahwatukee home near Chandler and Ray Roads.  Fire crews were called around 3:30 a.m. and when they arrived at the scene, the garage was already engulfed.  Everyone was already outside of the home.

"The lady of the house.. apparently she was alerted by smoke detectors.. those alerted her.. she did have an odor of smoke.. she got all the occupants out," said Capt. Cort Ashbury.

"I saw my mom.. she ran back in.. I thought she was getting some clothes and stuff, but she didn't, so I was going to go back in, but I was too scared," said N'sayshable.

Even though firefighters contained the blaze to the garage, the rest of the home -- all of the family's belongings -- were ruined by soot and water.  They're left with very little, but grateful the smoke detector woke them -- probably saving their lives.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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