Vienna couple saved from house fire because of smoke alarms

Published: Jan. 31, 2018 at 6:15 PM EST
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About a year ago, Steve and Larissa Rockhold had the Red Cross come install three smoke detectors in their house, which a year later saved their lives.

Larissa explains what had happened that day. “January 2nd we woke up to get my son ready for school and we noticed it was awfully cold in the house. We went to go check the furnace and noticed it was not working. “

They called a repair man to come fix the furnace. Steve says, “Said he had to go run and get the part; left for probably about a half an hour. Later the smoke detectors started going off, smoke started pouring up through the vents and within 2 minutes the whole house was black. I ran downstairs and saw the furnace was on fire and called 911.”

The alarms installed were by a Red Cross volunteer that had a special bond with the family.

“We’re told, ‘hey we had a life saved,’ that means somewhere that we went out and put a smoke alarm, someone-their life was saved because of the smoke alarms. I never thought the first one of the year would be my daughter,” says Charles Clegg, a Red Cross volunteer and father of Larissa.

Thankfully Andrew, their oldest, was at school while Rosalynn, their 3 year old, went over to a friend’s house to stay warm while the parents stayed at home.

Larissa says, “So by luck she was down the street. We couldn’t have seen her because she would have been right over the furnace because that is where my son’s bedroom is at. Proud that they were there because if not, we would have never noticed. We were working on stuff in the house and we had our backs turned and everything, we would have never noticed it.”

The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign has saved 21 lives in West Virginia including the lives of Steve and Larissa.

At the end Clegg states, “Because we took 5 minutes out of our time to go put smoke alarms, we save somebody else’s life.”