Smoke detectors credited to Rochester family getting out alive - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Smoke detectors credited to Rochester family getting out alive

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ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- The damage to the home along 15th Avenue Southeast in Rochester is estimated at about $40,000, but tonight it's not possessions that matter, but rather the two lives that were saved all thanks to a working smoke detector.

"The kitchen is completely destroyed, there's smoke damage everywhere."

Nicole Olson says she feels lucky to be alive. Around two o' clock Sunday morning the Rochester Fire Department responded to a fire at a home where Olson and her 23-month-old daughter were asleep.

Olson says, "Woke up to those alarms going off and flames coming out of the kitchen so I just grabbed my daughter and got out and went to the neighbor's house."

Olson said she was planning to make food on the stove, but laid down briefly and accidentally fell asleep leaving oil cooking on the stove. But it's thanks to her working smoke detectors that she and her daughter made it out alive.

Captain Mark Keefe of the Rochester Fire Department says, "This time of year when we set our clocks back we remind everybody to test their smoke detectors, change out their batteries and this is a perfect example of why we do that."

Nicole sustained minor injuries, but fire officials say it could have been much worse.

Olson says, "I keep thinking what if I didn't hear the alarms, what if I didn't wake up, there was just so much smoke everywhere."

Olson said she recently changed the batteries in one of her smoke detectors and is thankful it did its job.

The National Fire Protection Association urges people to test their smoke detectors once a month and to change the batteries twice a year.

The American Red Cross is housing Olson and her four children at a local hotel.

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