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Smoke detector averts serious fire damage

Twenty residents of a condominium complex at 2027 E. Upriver Drive had a close call Sunday evening when a fire started in an enclosed space inside one of the units.

A sleeping resident was awakened just before 8:45 p.m. by a smoke detector and smoke was filling the woman’s unit. Flames were not apparent, but she called the fire department and left the unit.

Firefighters initially could not find a source of the fire, but they used a thermal imaging camera to locate it in the kitchen behind an enclosure for appliances.

In the meantime, 20 occupants in the condominiums were evacuated temporarily. They were able to return to their homes after the fire was extinguished.

Firefighters said the incident was another example of how a smoke detector can prevent serious damage and injury, and they reminded residents to make sure that they have a detector, that it has fresh batteries and that it is working.