Smoke Alarm Saves Family in Dupont

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DUPONT -- One family will be out of their home for a while after an early morning fire in Dupont.

Firefighters were on the scene of a home on Liberty Street after a fire started at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Nicole Boyanowski and her family have lived at their home for about four years. It all started after a space heater sparked an electrical fire inside her one-year-old son Colt's room.

"The smoke alarm woke us up around 4:30 a.m. and we ran into his room," she explained. And there were flames about four feet high and three feet wide and we got him out of his crib, and we got our other son out of bed, and I took them outside."

Boyanowski's husband used a fire extinguisher but was unable to completely stop the fire. The family of four was able to make it out safely along with both dogs and one of their four cats. Two cats did not survive, and one is still missing.

Line officer Eric Cocco with the Dupont Volunteer Hose Company and his crew battled not only the weather and the narrow street, but a fire that was quickly spreading.

"We were making the corner and saw the flames shoot out of the house, a good 10 or 20 feet into the street," said Cocco. "Then the electrical cord blew off the house, and we deployed what we thought was necessary and knocked it down in a few minutes."

Even though this fire happened just a week before Christmas, the family says there is still a lot to be thankful for. In fact, they say there's even a lesson for everyone else to take away from this fire.

"Please make sure that you check your smoke alarms and make sure the batteries are new and fresh because if we did not hear that smoke alarm go off, our kids would not be here today," Boyanowski added.

"It almost sounds silly after you hear it so many times, but what saved this family from a total tragedy was the fact that their fire alarms and smoke detectors had batteries that were working," Cocco added. "That's what saved them. That's what woke them up. That's what brought them to get out of the house."

As for what's next, it's day by day for the Boyanowski family as they stay with friends and family.

"We're just going to band together with our family and friends here to support us and pick up the missing pieces," the mother added.

Firefighters tell Newswatch 16 the fire damage was limited to the second floor and the attic. The family is optimistic that with the Christmas presents stored in the basement, they will still be able to celebrate the holidays next weekend.