March 08--Alex Pellecer just shrugs his shoulders quietly and says "I guess" when asked if reports that he's a hero for saving his three younger siblings from a house fire in Dalton Thursday morning are true.
"I fell asleep like 11 and then in the middle of the night I just heard like beeping," said the Dalton High School sophomore. "I thought it was my cellphone or something."
He soon discovered the beeping was from a smoke alarm. Without his glasses on, Pellecer said he originally couldn't tell very well what was going on. He found smoke, then found fire on a wall and coming through the ceiling, and when he couldn't put it out himself, he got everyone out of the house and called 911. He said the situation didn't seem that scary at the time; however, fire officials said it could have turned out much worse.
Dalton Fire Department Deputy Chief Gary Baggett said the call came in at 2:23 a.m. for the home at 305 Rowena St. Firefighters arrived less than two minutes later to extinguish the flames that investigators determined to have started because of electrical issues in the home.
The children's mother was at work at the time, Baggett said, but Pellecer was able to get Noe Figueroa, 9, Genesis Figueroa, 4, and Monserrat Figueroa, 1, out by himself.
"The fire was mostly confined to the attic with moderate fire damage to the attic," Baggett said. "There were five smoke detectors that were hardwired into the structure, and only one of those detectors worked, but that was enough. It was the one in his bedroom, and he had two of the children in there with him and another in a separate room."
Baggett said this fire is an example of just how important it is to have working smoke detectors.
"Now we have four outcomes here that could have been a real tragedy," he said. "Had that smoke detector not been working, we might have had four fire deaths."
Fire officials are reminding everyone to check their smoke alarms and change batteries this weekend as they turn their clocks forward.
Copyright 2013 - The Daily Citizen, Dalton, Ga.