A Shrewsbury firefighter and two Southern Regional police officers likely saved the life of a young man found asleep on his couch as a fire burned in his bathroom, police said.
About 1:30 p.m. Friday, crews were called to a home on Greenview Drive after a neighbor there heard a fire alarm and called 911, according to Southern Regional Police.
The neighbor banged on the young man's door prior to crews getting to the scene, but could not rouse him, according to Shrewsbury Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Tony Myers.
Firefighter Kodie Ambrose and Officers Cory Blais and Michael Storeman were able to get inside the home, where they found the man sleeping on a couch. His name was not released.
"He was not awakened by the smoke detectors or from the neighbor banging on the door," Myers said. "We think he was just really sound asleep."
Unhurt: But Ambrose, Blais and Storeman were able to wake him up and whisk him outside to safety. He wasn't hurt.
"A candle that was unattended in the bathroom caught the wallpaper on fire in the bathroom," Myers said. "It was a very small fire, with no extension out of the bathroom."
It was extinguished quickly, after which fire crews ventilated the smoke-filled house, according to the fire chief, who estimated damage at $300.
This was the first fire call the 18-year-old Ambrose has responded to in which he was the first firefighter to enter a burning home, according to Myers.
Ambrose had been a Shrewsbury volunteer fire cadet but recently graduated from fire training to become a full-fledged firefighter.
And Storeman is a rookie officer, according to Southern Regional Police Sgt. Darryl Smuck.
He is currently in the department's field-training program, and Blais is his field-training officer, Smuck said.
National issue: Myers said there's a growing problem of people sleeping through smoke detector alarms, especially with children.
"People are getting so used to sounds in the house, they're actually sleeping through alarms," he said.
That's why many fire officials urge people to use smoke detectors that feature strobe lights as well as audible alarms, Myers said.
Regular fire drills can also help condition people to wake up when they hear a smoke detector alarm, he said.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at email@example.com.