Fire Chief Joe Stevens said this smoke detector alerted an elderly woman to a fire at an East Manchester Township home.
Fire Chief Joe Stevens said this smoke detector alerted an elderly woman to a fire at an East Manchester Township home. (submitted)

A working smoke detector and quick thinking by a resident of an East Manchester Township home affected fire Sunday are being credited with saving two lives and keeping the house from going up in flames.

An adult woman was asleep in a bedroom of the home in the 200 block of Pebble Beach Drive when, about 10:20 a.m., when she heard a smoke detector sounding, said Joe Stevens, chief of Union Fire Co. in Manchester.

The woman awoke to find flames in the bedroom and fled, shutting the door behind. She then, with her great grandmother, left the house.

Soon after first responders descended upon the scene and, within 20 minutes had the fire, which was contained to the bedroom, under control.

Flames gutted the bedroom and the adult woman suffered minor burns by declined treatment at the scene, Stevens said.

"Very realistically a working smoke detector saved two lives with morning," he said, adding that closing the door kept smoke and flames from damaging other parts of the house.

None-the-less, the great grandmother and granddaughter, as well as her mother and father who live in the house but weren't home at the time of the blaze, were displaced by the fire. They are being assisted by the Red Cross, Stevens said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the chief said the blaze appeared to be unintentional. An estimate of damage was not available Sunday evening.


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Firefighters often speak of the importance of having working smoke detectors in homes and this is an instance where the tool worked and saved lives.

Union Fire Co. gives out free smoke detectors to residents in its coverage area. Anyone interested in receiving one should call the station at (717) 266-2226.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.