Family of six escapes raging house fire, credits working smoke - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Family of six escapes raging house fire, credits working smoke detectors

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Flames engulfed the home in a matter of minutes. Wood crackled as firefighters rushed to put out the blaze. Flames engulfed the home in a matter of minutes. Wood crackled as firefighters rushed to put out the blaze.
Investigators think a space heater caused this blaze which sent six adults and one child running out of the home. Investigators think a space heater caused this blaze which sent six adults and one child running out of the home.
Neighbors watched anxiously as those family members made their way outside. Neighbors watched anxiously as those family members made their way outside.
Neighbors gave them shoes, coats and blankets to keep warm. By sunrise the damage was clear; the house a total loss. Neighbors gave them shoes, coats and blankets to keep warm. By sunrise the damage was clear; the house a total loss.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Members of a Memphis family ran for their lives Wednesday morning when a fire broke out at their home in the 1500 block of Boxwood Street in East Memphis.

Flames engulfed the 50-year-old home in a matter of minutes. Wood crackled as firefighters rushed to put out the blaze.

"We started a quick attack to knockdown the fire. It took us about 18 minutes to get the main body of the fire and get it under control," said chief Keith Staples.

Investigators think a space heater caused this blaze which sent six adults and one child running out of the home. Neighbors watched anxiously as those family members made their way outside.

Firefighters say a smoke detector in the house went off, which is what alerted Jon Rayford and his son. They woke the others got out the house safely as well.

Rayford lost everything he owns in a matter of minutes.

"When they caught fire, the smoke detectors went off, I called my son we got everybody, and we just got out the house," he said. "We didn't have time to grab nothing."

Neighbors gave them shoes, coats and blankets to keep warm. By sunrise the damage was clear; the house a total loss.

"All my family stays here, cousins, aunties, brothers, sisters even neighbors when they need someone where to stay whenever they need," said Rayford.

Now people are coming forward to help him in a time of need. One Action News 5 viewer already offered to donate a new mattress, which is generosity that Rayford graciously accepts as he continues to process what happened early Wednesday morning.

"Smoke detectors save lives. In this particular case, we had a family there and they will be getting assistance from the red cross," said Staples. "Making sure that [you] keep combustibles items away from space heaters and furnaces ... At least three feet away including draperies clothing bedding or any of those things can quickly start a fire."

Firefighters are urging you to practice fire safety as temperatures go down this winter.

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