Mother, toddler escape Maury County house fire thanks to smoke detector

Posted at 11:20 AM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 19:54:28-04

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WTVF) — A mother, her toddler, and son were able to escape their burning home thanks to a working smoke detector.

The Maury County Fire Department said the fire broke out Friday at the McFarland family's home on Rushmore Drive. Delania's child, Rowan, was napping when the fire started.

"When I opened the door to our master bedroom, our oscillating fan was in flames. I grabbed my crying toddler from his crib in the corner of our room and rushed both my son's out the door, while calling 911. If not for the smoke detector the outcome could have been completely different. Please check your smoke detectors on a regular basis," said Delania McFarland.

The department shared a photo of a charred crib on its Facebook page.

Richard Schatz, a district chief with the Maury County Fire Department, said the placement of the smoke detectors in the bedroom and hall were crucial.

"No fault of theirs at all, things happen, and the smoke detector activated. She did what she was supposed to do, and got the child and exited," Schatz said, "If it would have been outside the bedroom with the door closed, then it would have taken a lot longer for that smoke detector to activate so early detection, and being able to find it and get out of the home, is what's most important."

Schatz said they will install smoke detectors in your home for free if you ask.

"We tell people that smoke detectors are small insurance policies," Schatz said, "Without having them you're just setting yourself up for a much bigger tragedy, it's like not wearing your seat belt driving down the road in your vehicles."

As the McFarland family takes steps to get back to normal, firefighters hope residents will make sure their smoke detectors are working.

"Luckily, that family had done all the right things, and having smoke detectors installed in bedrooms, that way they prevented a tragedy," Schatz said.

Crews also rescued 3 cats from the home. They were treated with pet oxygen masks that had been donated by Servpro/Pet Pals.