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Child Detects Fire, Helps Family Escape
Updated October 19, 2016 8:11 AM | Filed under: Fire
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(HUNTINGBURG) - The quick action of an 8-year-old boy saved his family.

Huntingburg firefighters responded to a house fire at 103 N. Washington at about 12:34 a.m. Tuesday morning.

According to Chief Scott Patberg, if it weren't for the boy waking up to odor of smoke, things could have been worse. There were no smoke detectors in the home, owned by Frank Altmeyer, who was renting it to the Brandon Lauer family.

The boy woke his parents and the family of three and their puppy were able to escape the home safely.

Chief Patberg says the fire was ignited by a discarded cigarettes in a bucket outside of the home.The bucket was near a crawl space opening covered with a sheet of plywood. From there the fire climbed the walls of the home and into the furnace, melting wiring. The fire also damaged a bathroom and closet area.

Firefighters were able to douse the blaze and then used thermal imaging to locate any remaining hotspots. They had to cut sections of the exterior wall away to access and extinguish those hot spots.

More than 20 firefighters were on the scene for about an hour.

Chief Patberg says the city's code enforcement officer will receive a report detailing there were no smoke detectors and Altmeyer will have to provide proof that smoke detectors are installed in the home prior to renting it.

The Huntingburg Police Department and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services assisted at the scene.

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