Men saved from fire thanks to donation

February 25, 2008 5:58:21 PM PST
They may be burned out of their home, but they are counting their blessings.Around 3 a.m. Monday, Apex fire fighters responded to Thomas Harris' home in the 5100 block of Church Street. "The fire was actually caused by a faulty chimney wood burning heater," Apex Fire Department Chief Mark Haraway said. Haraway says his men removed the heater Harris and a roommate were likely burning during their sleep. Most of the damage was done to the front rooms and the attic. In one of the bedrooms in the house, a smoke detector that is credited for saved their lives. "That's what woke them up to find the house full of smoke and forced them to run out and call 911," Haraway said. Until two weeks ago, the home constructed in 1935, did not have any smoke detectors. Fire fighters installed them in each of the bedrooms as part of a safety campaign to target older homes. "We have to actually go in and install it to make sure it's properly put up and installed," Haraway said. "Then we instruct the occupant on how to test and maintain the smoke detector." He says he is thankful and that others should learn from this life saving lesson. "Smoke detectors can definitely make the difference," he added. Smoke alarms can be the difference between life and death. That is why Eyewitness News is launching its sixth annual Operation Save a Life. The campaign will hand out more than 11,000 smoke detectors to fire departments in 22 counties. It kicks off March 7.

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