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How a single device prevented a fiery tragedy in Buford

Smoke alarms may give you the warning you need to survive

The smell of smoke is what got her to leave, but a local woman credits a smoke alarm with waking her up in time to escape a house fire alive.

The fire happened early Wednesday morning in the 600 block of Riverside Road in Buford, Georgia. When firefighters arrived they found flames already erupting from the basement and rising through the porch of a two-story home.

Firefighters worked quickly to bring an end to the fiery situation with fire hose lines on the outside that soon moved into the home to continue the battle. It took roughly 25 minutes to bring the fire under control as it made its dying climb toward the roof of the home heavily damaging the porch, stairway and even part of the attic.

But, for all the damage it caused, this fire didn't harm a single person, pet or a nearby stable of horses. A rather loud device in the home was to thank for that. The one person in the home said she was asleep at the time the fire and woke up to the alarm sounding.

She found the front porch blaze and called 911. By the time firefighters arrived, she was already in the process of getting family pets out of the home.

As for the cause, fire investigators have tracked it down to an electrical fault in a front porch outlet. The occupant declined Red Cross assistance for housing.

Gwinnett fire officials used this opportunity to remind residents to maintain working smoke alarms in their home on each level and in each bedroom. They insisted that residents have an escape plan and test the alarms monthly.

A portable fire extinguisher close at hand and a collapsible ladder can for escape from upper floors can also be invaluable since hearing the alarm does little good if there's no way out.

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