Seymour family escapes blaze thanks to smoke detectors

Jun. 26, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

Smoke alarms likely saved the lives of a mother and two young children who were napping when a fire started in their home on Happy Valley Road.

Firefighters said the fire broke out in one section of the home and awakened the children, both believed to be under 5 years old, who then woke their mother, Jennifer Johnson.

She got them out of the house quickly before going back inside and trying to fight the fire, but she quickly gave up that effort and called 911, said Kevin Nunn, chief of the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.

Without the alarms, and the prompt response, the outcome could have been tragic, Nunn said. “The mom and the kids deserve a lot of credit for getting up and getting out.”

He cautioned that people shouldn’t try to go back into a house once they’ve evacuated.

“Let the fire department be the one to fight the fire,” he said. “I would hate for her to go in there and be overcome by the smoke.”

The family declined to talk to The Mountain Press after the fire.

Firefighters weren’t able to save the house, but they had other relatives in the area and Nunn said his department also contacted the Knoxville chapter of the American Red Cross to get them additional aid if they need it.

“They were put immediately in the support system of Red Cross, he said. “(Red Cross volunteers) were on scene and with the family by the conclusion.”

jfarrell@themountainpress.com