Firefighters credit smoke detectors with saving lives in two-alarm apartment complex fire

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Firefighters say lives were saved this morning because smoke alarms worked exactly like they were supposed to in alerting people to the spreading fire.

Multiple emergency crews were called to an apartment building in the 8000 block of Solitude Drive at about 5:15am, Tuesday, on a reported two-alarm fire.

“My husband and I woke at 5:15 this morning to the smell of smoke. So, we immediately tried to figure out if it was from our apartment and it wasn’t and so we came outside and realized it was coming from the back of the building,” says Kate Stuhlfauth. She and her husband called 911 and tried to wake neighbors.

After more than an hour of fighting the flames, firefighters were able to contain the fire. No injuries were reported.

“It was terrifying, I grabbed my daughter and we left,” says Porsche Bailey, standing beside her daughter Marlee.

Fire investigators say the fire was contained to the laundry room in an upstairs apartment, but smoke filtered throughout the 12-unit apartment and hole were cut into the roof to vent the smoke.

Battalion Chief Steve Martin says it would have been easy for someone to have died from the fire, but because of working smoke detectors, tragedy was avoided.

Bailey says she is just are thankful no one got hurt. “Absolutely, absolutely! You can replace everything else, I am just grateful we got out,” she says.

Everyone was allowed back into their apartment, except the one with the clothes dryer fire. The Red Cross of Central Ohio was on scene to help those displaced or in need. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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