May 30, 2024
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By Jason Zimmerman

Two teenage girls are being recognized for their quick thinking after escaping a house fire in Fond du Lac. They were home alone early Monday morning and used a ladder to make it out from a second-story window before running to a neighbor to call for help.

Fond du Lac firefighters arrived on the scene at 130 West Division Street just after two teenage girls used a ladder to escape from their bedroom window and ran to wake up a neighbor across the street.

“They have this ladder in their room, and when they heard the smoke alarms and could smell the smoke, they climb out the ladder, and away from the house,” said Pam, a neighbor of the victims.

The ladder was something the family just bought at a garage sale. Firefighter Jason Roberts says it’s a device that anyone can purchase and should have if you live higher than on the first floor.

“They made a split-second decision to make sure they chose and understood that the smoke was too intense for them to safely evacuate,” said Roberts. “As we know, those super heated gases those byproducts or combustion have in it, a few breaths of those super heated gases, can take your breath away and take your life.”

Three dogs and a rabbit were also rescued from the first floor, and two of the dogs had to be revived by first responders. Fire officials say the parents of the teenage girls were working third shift and rushed back home, once they were told, about the fire.

“They got lucky, I feel,” Pam said. “It could have been so much worse because when I opened up the side door because the wind was crazy the smoke just billowed, and I’m like, ‘Oh my Lord.'”

Fire officials say the fire started in the kitchen but the cause remains under investigation. They also say the smoke detectors were all working and that’s what sounded the alarm, giving the girls a chance to escape, down that ladder. It’s also likely the girls may have practiced using the ladder, so they knew what to do.

Two children rescued themselves from an overnight house fire in Fond du Lac Monday.

Fond du Lac Fire Rescue says two children were sleeping upstairs when the fire broke out at about 2:47 in the morning at 130 W. Division St. A smoke alarm woke up one of the children, who then woke up their sibling. The smoke was too heavy for them to get to the first floor, so they evacuated out the second-floor window using a fire-escape ladder.

Every person in the house got out safely and didn’t need medical attention. Firefighters rescued 3 dogs and a rabbit. Two dogs had to be revived using pet-rescue oxygen masks.

The fire was reported by someone who saw it on their camera system. The fire was coming from the kitchen area.

Firefighters say they got the fire out quickly but there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house.

They ventilated the house but are still determining what caused the fire.

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