E. Texas couple says home smoke detector saved their lives - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

E. Texas couple says home smoke detector saved their lives

The home was three stories tall before it caught on fire. (Source: KLTV Staff) The home was three stories tall before it caught on fire. (Source: KLTV Staff)
Multiple fire departments worked to extinguish the fire. (Source: KLTV Staff) Multiple fire departments worked to extinguish the fire. (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

A fire early Monday morning destroyed the home of an elderly couple in Smith County. Right now, the homeowners believe a lightning strike sparked the fire on Timberhill Drive, near Lake Palestine.

“We're just lucky that, even though it's 50 years of memories and our retirement home, we're alive,” homeowner Susan Nelson said.  

Nelson said the fire started in the attic.

“I heard something fall and I heard an odd noise in the background and I thought ‘You know this really just doesn't sound right.’ So I turned on the bedside lamp and realized the room was filling with smoke,” she explained.

She called 911 and that's when the operator told her to get out of the home. She and her husband, along with their dog, were able to get out uninjured.

Smoke was still rising as the sun came up. Multiple fire departments were on scene trying to extinguish those remaining hot spots.

“It's very unsafe right now,” Smith County Fire Marshal Connie McCoy-Wasson said Monday morning.  

“Firefighters are still on location trying to salvage what they can of the homeowners and bring some items out. We still have a lot of hot spots in the center of the home that they're trying to get to,” she added.

Read More: Smith County couple's home destroyed in overnight fire 

Nelson said if it wasn't for the smoke detector in their attic going off and waking her up, she doesn't know if they could have gotten out as quickly as they did.

“It's because of that smoke alarm going off. The others eventually kicked in and turned on but the one in the attic was the key,” Nelson explained.

“Have a smoke detector in every sleeping room of your house. You may have family members that are living in your home that can't sleep in a bedroom. If they're sleeping in the living room or something like that have a smoke detector in there because that's what saves lives,” McCoy-Wasson added.

A message the nelsons hope everyone can take away, in the midst of destruction.

While the nelsons don't know what their next steps are going to be right now, they did say that the home was insured.

Copyright 2016 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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