The cry of a baby woke up a 17-year-old LaVergne High School student early Monday morning, possibly saving the lives of the family living at 370 Park Court North in La Vergne.
The cry, however, was no ordinary baby cry but that of a baby doll simulator, a homework assignment.
When the teen awoke because of the lifelike baby‚s cries, she also heard what sounded like breaking glass. She looked out her bedroom door to investigate and saw the extensive smoke that filled the home from a fire that originated in the area of the laundry room. She was able to save her 42-year old mother, another adult in the house, the family dog and the crying baby simulator.
The breaking glass sound heard by the alert teen was the bay window next to the laundry room, according to Fire Marshal Victor Woods. The smoke alarm – tested by the family the previous week – never alerted the occupants about the fire.
There are two basic types of smoke detectors: ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors. The family was codes compliant with their ionization smoke detector; however, Woods recommends that people consider having a combination of the ionization and photoelectric detectors in their homes, as well as one with a heat sensor. Ionization detectors will more quickly detect flame while photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoke from smoldering fires.
When the fire department arrived at the scene three minutes after the 3:30 a.m. dispatch time, flames were already visible from the street. Woods described it as a very hot fire, "The family was very fortunate to escape from this fire unharmed."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.