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Local first responders stress fire safety after recent incidents

Spreading awareness as part of National Fire Prevention Week

ROANOKE, Va. – Local first responders are reminding people about fire safety after two early morning fires in the area.

Four people safely escaped a house fire in Salem Monday morning. It's been ruled accidental. Fire crews are still investigating a house fire on Fairfax Avenue in Roanoke around 4:30 Monday morning.

The two people living there were asleep when the fire started. They woke up because of their smoke alarm and fortunately, were able to get out by jumping off the porch rooftop.

This just happens to be fire prevention week and local first responders say the incident this morning is something everyone can learn from. 

"We had a fire this morning where smoke alarms alerted the occupants to the fire. It was 4:30 in the morning and those are the most dangerous types of fires that could ever happen," Roanoke Fire and EMS Chief David Hoback said.

The home in the 1100 block of Fairfax Avenue is destroyed after this morning's fire but luckily, the two people inside were able to get out safely.

"If they didn't have an active smoke detector, those people may not be here today," Hoback said.

That has Roanoke Fire Chief David Hoback reiterating an important message.

"This morning was a classic example why active, working, properly installed smoke detectors throughout your house save lives and prevent or limit property damage," Hoback said.

Throughout October, Roanoke fire crews are educating community members about fire safety. Their two biggest messages: change the battery in your smoke alarm every six months and plan an escape route to get out of your house. Both proved beneficial this morning.

"Both the occupants got out of the house, they were both accounted for. When we got there, we had a fire in one of the rooms of the house. We got the fire quickly knocked down, limited damage and that's what it's all about," Hoback said.

He says most fires are preventable.

"The biggest cause we find more frequently is going to be the cooking fires," Hoback said.

Hoback says he hopes the damage there will serve as an example to others to think about fire safety before it's too late.

"We want to make sure that we are never called to your house," Hoback said. 

The cause of the fire on Fairfax Avenue is still under investigation. The American Red Cross is helping the people displaced.