Family Safety Alert: Preventing Attic Fires

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News 12 First at Five, December 19, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Sandra Duggan and her dog, Buttons, are living in their mobile camper after fire burned through Sandra's home. Along with her husband, Sandra's raised two children at her house located on the 3200 block of Lake Forest Road. She says those memories come back as she walks inside the house -- thankful the damage wasn't worse.

"The fire started in the attic and the damage mainly was contained to the attic," said Mrs. Duggan as she points toward the attic.

There are a few holes in the ceiling and charred particles on the floors,
but the Christmas tree and decorations are still in tact.

Sandra says her smoke and carbon monoxide detectors saved her life, her husband's and--Buttons.

"I'm still in disbelief really," said Sandra, "We would say to anyone to make sure that you have them and they're in working order because they did save us."

Fire Investigator Lieutenant Carlton Bradley says most attic fires start in the fireplace, but even if you don't have a fireplace you still need to be careful.

"An attic is not actually a storage space. It's a space where you go in to work where the wires are coming through that attic. So again, not storing a whole lot of combustibles," explains Lt. Bradley.

For the duggans, everything that was in their atticis now outside on the ground--a few pieces of luggage, a Christmas napkin and insulation material. Mrs. Duggan says it'll still be a Merry Christmas--despite the fire.

"It's going to be a good Christmas. We have a big family here and I already have part of my dinner in the freezer so we can have Christmas and it's going to be nice because we're all safe," said Duggan with a smile.

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