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Alarms alert residents to fire

(Normal Fire Dept. photo)

NORMAL – An early morning fire broke out in the basement of a home on Augustine Way in Normal Saturday, but the residents were able to escape without injury thanks to working smoke alarms.

Normal Fire Department responded to 302 Augustine Way at 4:53 this morning to the report of the house filled with smoke. The homeowner told MetCom dispatchers that the house was filling with smoke and that they were getting out of the home.

Firefighters arrived a few minutes later and reported smoke coming from the front door of the home and made entry. Firefighters located heavy fire in the basement level of the home and began fighting it, while other crews searched the home for potential victims. Once a working fire was confirmed, a second alarm was struck which pages off-duty firefighters to report to their station and requests an engine company from Bloomington Fire Department to provide a Rapid Intervention Team for crews working inside.

Firefighters had the main fire knocked down in about 20 minutes, but they continued to extinguish hot spots and ventilate smoke from the home for about another hour.

The smoke alarms in the home were functional and woke the residents in time to escape.

“In this situation, everyone was asleep in the home, but working smoke alarms woke them up and warned them that there was a fire in time for them to escape,” said Public Information Officer, Matt Swaney. “In a fire, the toxic gasses in the smoke can render you unconscious in a few breaths. If you’re asleep and the smoke alarms don’t work, you may never wake up,” he adds.

The fire caused extensive damage to the basement level of the home. The second story of the home also sustained damage from heat and smoke which traveled via the laundry chute.

At this time, there is no damage estimate available. The home is insured.

No one was injured in the fire, but the residents were treated at the scene by NFD Paramedics for smoke inhalation.

Normal Fire Department Investigators are working at the scene to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

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