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Fayetteville man escapes house fire

Blaze destroys house and its contents

May 31, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. -- A Fayetteville man was lucky to be alive Monday after escaping an early morning fire caused by a malfunctioning freezer, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

The fire at a rancher in the 300 block of West Main Street in Fayetteville was reported at 4:26 a.m. Monday, according to Franklin County Emergency Services.

The house was destroyed and the family lost everything inside, said Trooper First Class Jeff Sarver, a fire marshal. The family did not have homeowner's insurance, he said.

The American Red Cross has been notified for assistance and a local church might be helping the family, Sarver said.

A woman, her daughter and her son lived in the home, Sarver said. The woman and her daughter were not home at the time of the fire, he said.

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Sarver said he did not know the names of the family members.

The home had no smoke detectors to alert the son, 18, who happened to wake up and discover the fire and heavy smoke conditions, Sarver said.

"It's definitely a miracle," Sarver said. "Without an early detection device, a smoke detector, normally you don't wake up." The smoke typically kills a person before the fire does, he said.

"It's unexplainable, but he wakes up. It's fortunate for him he wakes up when he does," Sarver said.

A dog survived the fire as well, but the cat did not, Sarver said.

Sarver said nothing was salvageable from the fire, which was ruled accidental.

An electrical component in the freezer, part of an upright refrigerator, malfunctioned, so the fire started in the freezer and spread from there, Sarver said.

The son was in a bedroom next to the kitchen, Sarver said. He escaped through a rear entrance by the kitchen.

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