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Smoke alarm saves Hastings family from house fire

Flames, smoke visible in late-night fire
Crews battle a Wednesday night house fire in Hastings
Crews battle a Wednesday night house fire in Hastings(Shannon Heckt (KSNB))
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:38 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Fire & Rescue says one family’s working fire alarm is what helped them escape a fire Wednesday night.

Crews responded to a fire call around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at a residence in the 800 block of N. Lexington. Once on scene, responders could see visible flames and smoke in the upstairs portion of the home.

Within the first half hour, crews began breaking out windows on the second floor of the home, releasing a large amount of smoke.

The fire was under control within 10 minutes.

Firefighters said the family was asleep when the fire started, but woke up and exited the home when the smoker detectors went off.

“The key to this whole story is the fact that they were working smoke detectors,” said Troy Vorderstrasse, a fire prevention officer with Hastings Fire & Rescue. “A lot of us may have smoke detectors in our home, but if the batteries are not up to date, they haven’t be changed, they may not operate properly. In this case, properly working smoke detectors saved six lives.”

There is an estimated $25,000 in damage to the 3,260 square-ft home. There is fire damage to one room but water damage throughout the house.

The fire was determined to be accidental by an over heated portable air conditioner.

Vorderstrasse reminds everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarms at least once a month, and test the detector at least twice a year. You should have at least one smoke alarm on every floor, preferably near bedrooms.

He said you can vacuum the smoke alarm if it collects dust or cobwebs, and recommends not placing them in kitchens.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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