'Alarm saved us'

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:52 10 June 2010

AN Exmouth mum-of-two has exclusively told the Journal of the terrifying minutes when she and her family were forced to flee for their lives after a raging blaze ripped through their home in the early hours of Friday morning.

AN Exmouth mum-of-two has exclusively told the Journal of the terrifying minutes when she and her family were forced to flee for their lives after a raging blaze ripped through their home in the early hours of Friday morning.The 38-year-old, who wants to remain anonymous, her 49-year-old husband and two sons, aged 13 and nine, were asleep in their Normandy Close home when a fire broke out downstairs in the kitchen.She said the alarms saved her family's life - and without the early warning they would have slept on, oblivious that a fire was tearing through their home and sending thick, black poisonous smoke throughout the property."The smoke alarm saved our lives, without a doubt. If that hadn't gone off, within a couple of minutes we would have been dead," she said. "We don't feel unlucky, we feel lucky. My children are safe and everything else doesn't matter. All that matters are my boys. "We were out within ten seconds of the alarm going off. When we first heard it we didn't even look at each other."It was only the sound that woke us up. If the smoke detector hadn't gone off, we wouldn't have woken up or heard the fire."At around 4.45am, the family, who have lived at the property for five years, were roused by the shrill alarm which detected smoke seeping under the closed kitchen door.Hearing the loud noise, the father of the family ran downstairs and opened the kitchen door where he was confronted by an already out-of-control blaze.Shouting to his wife of four years, who was hurrying their two slumbering sons out of their beds, the family made a dash outside to safety.Within minutes of them reaching safety, the fire had burned through the kitchen door and melted the hallway smoke detector, silencing it.Exmouth fire station watch commander Stefan Clark said the cause of the fire was accidental and thought to have started behind the freezer.He said: "The fire could have been fatal without the smoke detectors.


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