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Helena house fire aftermath showcases precautions that could save lives

Posted at 9:41 AM, Nov 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-04 11:41:20-05

HELENA – “I woke up around ten o’clock to the fire alarm going off,” said Jenni Hagen.

A house fire is one of the more devastating losses a person or family can experience because when a house burns down, people aren’t losing just a building, but a home.

Late last month, fire crews rushed to the scene of a house in Helena, which may not look bad on the outside, but once you walk through the door, you see the inside suffered significant damage.

Fire officials said the fire started in the living room, which looks awful, but according to fire marshal Lou Antonick, things could have been much worse for the family.

Everyone got out safely because of some precautions, including installing working smoke alarms in every room, closing doors to slow the spread of fire, and having an escape plan everyone in the house knows well.

All of those factors helped save the life of Jenni Hagen and her family when she only had minutes to act.

“I grabbed my daughter, she’s 16 months, and my dog and exited out the back door,” said Hagen. “Put them in the car as I was dialing 911. I called 911, backed my car away from the house, because it was parked really close and in that amount of time, I saw flames coming out the front of my house. It was probably two minutes from when I woke up to when I saw the flames out the front.”

Smoke detectors, shut doors, and an escape plan. Simple things to remember that could save your life and home.

For more information on fire protection check out the National Fire Protection Association and the Close Your Door safety initiative.

Story by Andy Curtis, MTN News