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Sleeping homeowner escapes fire thanks to smoke detectors, Wapello firefighters say

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:21 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 4:27 PM CST
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WAPELLO, Iowa (KWQC) - Wapello Fire and Rescue says a homeowner woke up to the sound of his smoke detectors blaring and was able to escape a fire in his house Sunday night.

At approximately 7 p.m., firefighters responded to the house at 426 South Main Street in Wapello for a report of a bedroom on fire.

Crews noticed heavy fire showing from nearly every window when they arrived on scene. A Wapello police officer advised there had been several explosions from firearm ammunition in the home. Wapello firefighters requested help from other fire departments.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and remained on scene until 10:45 p.m.

According to Wapello Fire and Rescue, the homeowner was sleeping inside the home at the time of the fire. He woke up to the sound of his smoke detectors and discovered the large fire in a bedroom adjacent to where he had been sleeping. The homeowner was able to escape uninjured.

“This fire could have had a much more tragic ending if not for the presence of a working smoke detector,” Wapello Fire and Rescue said in a Facebook post. “The smoke detector woke up the occupant and provided him the precious time necessary to escape the blaze. Within seconds of the discovery of this fire, it developed to a level that certainly would have been fatal for anyone inside. This message should serve as a reminder to check your smoke detectors monthly for proper operation. Smoke detectors save lives.”

No firefighters were injured while responding to the fire.

No houses nearby were damaged from the fire. However, firefighters say the home itself is considered a total loss.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

On 1/10/21 at 7:03 PM, Wapello Fire and Rescue was dispatched to 426 South Main Street in Wapello, for a report of a...

Posted by Wapello Fire and Rescue on Monday, January 11, 2021

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