WATERLOO | A couple escaped a house fire Tuesday night after their smoke alarms woke them.
The residents at 221 Gable St. were asleep when an overheated electrical cord flared up at about 11:30 p.m., filling their home with smoke, said Battalion Chief Michael Moore of Waterloo Fire Rescue.
“That smoke was all the way from the first floor to the attic,” Moore said.
The cord and a section of carpet around it were in flames, and the male resident started moving a couch out of the way, Moore said. That’s when a Waterloo police officer entered and told him to leave.
The officer then used a dry chemical extinguisher to douse the fire, Moore said. Firefighters arrived a short time later.
The house minimal structural damage but suffered heavy damage from the thick smoke, Moore said.
The couple had just changed the batteries in their smoke alarms last weekend during daylight savings time, as fire safety agencies recommend. Moore said the decision to keep the smoke detectors may be the reason they are still alive.
“That smoke detector possibly saved their lives because it warned them plenty early,” Moore said. He noted the fire was in the home’s front room, so they had to pass it on the way out the front door. If the woke later, the path would likely have been blocked by flames.