An Auburn man and his two sons escaped this early-morning fire on Jan. 1, thanks to working smoke alarms. COURTESY PHOTO, Valley Regional Fire Authority.

An Auburn man and his two sons escaped this early-morning fire on Jan. 1, thanks to working smoke alarms. COURTESY PHOTO, Valley Regional Fire Authority.

Smoke alarms alert Auburn family of early morning fire

Father, two sons safely escape New Year’s Day blaze at home

Working smoke alarms alerted an Auburn family to an early morning fire on New Year’s Day, most likely saving the lives of a father and his two sons.

At approximately 4:01 a.m. Jan. 1, neighbors saw flames coming from a home on G St. Southeast in Auburn and called 911.

Firefighters from Valley Regional Fire Authority, South King Fire and Rescue, and Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority responded, finding the front of the home in flames. The family had safely evacuated, thanks to a warning from their smoke alarms.

VRFA fire investigators say the fire began on the porch of the 3,400-square-foot home. The porch shared a wall and a window with the bedroom of a 6-year-old boy.

“The fire extended from the porch into the home by breaching the boy’s bedroom window,” said Deputy Fire Marshal John Monsebroten. “If not for the smoke alarms alerting the father, we could have had a tragic outcome.”

The home sustained an estimated $200,000 in damage to the structure and $80,000 to its contents. The cause of the fire is undetermined, though it most likely started in a plastic trash bag on the front porch, according to VRFA. The contents of the bag included discarded smoking materials, spent fireworks, an aerosol can and other combustible materials.

The American Red Cross helped the family with its immediate needs.

The VRFA reminds everyone to check their smoke alarms, practice a family fire escape plan, and dispose of smoking materials and spent fireworks in a closed metal container after thoroughly soaking them in water.


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