- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—FORT MADISON — Firefighters credit smoke alarms with saving the lives of four people in a house that caught fire late Sunday on the outskirts of Fort Madison.

“The smoke alarms undoubtedly saved this family’s lives as there is only one (exit) from the second floor without jumping out windows,” said Wever Fire Chief J.D. Henshaw.

Wever Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched about 11:45 p.m. to the report of flames showing from an upstairs bedroom of a home at 2188 U.S. 61, north of Fort Madison.

Denmark and Fort Madison fire and rescue units were called for mutual aid request.

The owners of the home are John and Stephanie Warner, Henshaw said.

“Upon arrival, flames and smoke were coming from a second-story window on the west side of the house,” he said. “The fire was quickly knocked down with the residence sustaining considerable fire, smoke and water damage.”

He said smoke alarms were going off as fire personnel arrived.

“All four occupants had safely evacuated the house when the smoke alarms sounded,” Henshaw said. “The owner did use a fire extinguisher on the fire to no avail.”

He said fire firefighters were on the scene about 90 minutes.

“The fire was determined to be accidental, and the property is covered by insurance,” he said.

However, he did not say what started the fire.

Lee County Emergency Medical Services as well as the Lee County Sheriff’s office and Fort Madison Police Department assisted at the scene.

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(c)2015 The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa)

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