Safety Plan Helps Ore. Family Escape House Fire


Firefighters say a southeast Portland family’s fire escape plan helped save their lives after their home went up in flames.

Two girls, ages 6 and 9, were playing in their upstairs bedroom Wednesday when they heard the home’s smoke alarm go off. Firefighters said the girls' next move likely saved their lives.

The girls remembered to check the doorknob first to see if it was warm before opening the door. When they felt the warm knob, the girls kept the door closed and followed the fire escape plan they had practiced with their mother.

"The bedroom that the girls share has a large egress window," said Doug Gray, who lives in the home. "We always told the girls never to use the plan unless there was an emergency, and on Wednesday night that time came."

The girls climbed to safety through their bedroom window.

The girls’ mother suffered some burns on her face and hands when she ran upstairs to check on her children, but she also escaped safely and is expected to make a full recovery.

Portland Fire and Rescue says this is a perfect example of why it’s so important for homes to have a working smoke alarm, and for families to practice a fire escape plan.

"Practicing a fire escape plan and having working smoke alarms saved this family," said Portland Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer Paul Corah. "The kids knew where to go and what to do, even though they must have been scared. As a firefighter and a dad, I'm so proud of these girls and happy that they are safe."

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