Updated to add photos at 3:41 p.m. Saturday, March 12:
Two people awoke to smoke alarms and safely exited their Lawrence home Saturday morning, but the home is no longer tenable.
The fire was in the basement area of a home in the 500 block of Maine Street around 8 a.m. Saturday, according to a news release from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical. It is under investigation and a damage estimate was not yet available.
There were no injuries to the residents or first responders. The nonprofit organization Family Promise is working with the residents to find housing, according to the release.
A shift commander was responding to another medical call in the area when they saw smoke coming from the home, Tom Fagan, interim chief of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, said in the release.
“Once responders arrived at the medical incident, the commander responded to the fire and used his portable extinguisher to control the fire in the basement area,” Fagan said. “Shortly after, firefighters arrived on the scene quickly extinguished the fire while searching the house to ensure everyone was out and safe.”
Fagan said in the release that “building fires during sleeping hours are particularly dangerous. Smoke alarms save lives and arguably saved two lives in this fire. The alarms did their job alarming the occupants to get out.”
LDCFM reminds people to check their smoke detector batteries when they “spring forward” Saturday night for daylight saving time.
“The larger the fire grows with more smoke, the more dangerous to both residents and our firefighters,” Fagan said in the release. “This weekend, reduce the risk to our community and firefighters by testing your smoke alarms and make sure they have fresh batteries.”