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Lucky ladder helps couple escape fire

POSTED: December 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A South Hall couple narrowly escaped serious injury or worse after a late Saturday fire in their home.

Hall County firefighters responded to a 11:20 p.m. fire at the home on Creekside Drive, off Cash Road, said Capt. Scott Cagle, fire marshal for Hall County Fire Services.

The couple escaped through a bedroom window and down a ladder that had been propped against the 1,700-square-foot house, Cagle said.

"If there wasn’t a ladder (there), they were going to have to jump," he said.

The couple suffered from minor smoke inhalation and were treated at the house.

He said the fire appears to be accidental, having started around the fireplace, which the house’s occupants "were using as their only source of heat," Cagle said.

"And they had just built a good size fire at 10 p.m. before they went to bed."

Five other people were in the house at the time, including children, who spotted the fire and alerted others in the house.

The children used the ladder to alert the couple.

Also, no smoke alarms were found in the house.

"Smoke alarms, fire-escape ladders — all those things can be bought at hardware stores," Cagle said. "Now is the time to do it. ... This is a wonderful story because no one got hurt, but they had terrible chances to get injured."

Fire destroyed about 40 percent of the house, which, "was unlivable, so (the American) Red Cross did help the residents with clothing and a place to stay," Cagle said.

The house was valued at $175,000, and had sustained about $50,000 worth of damage.

The occupants were leasing the house.

"They did not have renters’ insurance," Cagle said.



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