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Smoke detector saves woman's life

  • Firefighters prepare to clear the scene from a house fire on Linden Street on Friday.

    Firefighters prepare to clear the scene from a house fire on Linden Street on Friday.
    Pete Spitler/Du Quoin Call

By Pete Spitler
updated: 2/9/2018 5:20 PM

A smoke detector is being credited for saving a Du Quoin woman's life after a Friday morning house fire on Linden Street.
According to Du Quoin Assistant Fire Chief David Durkota, Savanna McFadden was asleep in a bedroom before being awoken by the smoke detector, which allowed her and the family's pets to escape to safety.
McFadden later declined comment to the Du Quoin Call. The house is owned by McFadden's mother, Brenda.
"Conditions on scene at arrival were heavy black smoke, pushing from the front side along with moderate fire visible through the front window," Durkota said. "The call went out with entrapment as a possibility, so we immediately went into a primary search, secondary (fire) suppression operation.
"They're conducted simultaneously back and forth, one against the other. It wasn't long after that we got confirmation that the individuals that were inside the house were able to escape unharmed."
Durkota said firefighters were able to get the fire, which was reported at 8:39 a.m., under control five minutes after arrival. He noted the house is older, but has been remodeled and added onto several times, making fire suppression difficult.
"There's a lot of nooks and crannies in there," he said. "A lot of overhaul, along with pulling ceilings and getting up into the attic with blown insulation where the fire can hide on us."
The home sustained extensive damage and firefighters remained on scene for two hours. Durkota said the fire started in the living room, and candles and cigarettes have been ruled out as a cause, but what ignited it is still under investigation.
"We were able to recover some personal effects," Durkota said. "A family Bible, some monetary things, purses and things like that, and from my understanding they were also able to escape with some pets from the house as well.
"The lesson from (Friday) is this fire is a completely different outcome without the smoke detector."

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