EDGEWOOD, Md. — A woman asleep in her living room and an electrical fire sparked by an outlet in a separate room set the stage for a possible tragedy in a four-unit condo complex in Edgewood.
“I saw the fire trucks coming up, the first one and the second one,” said Emily Goetz who lives across the street from the fire on Fountain Rock Way. “I saw them spreading the water. They jumped into action. Did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
But the fire victim is being commended for her actions after her dogs began barking, alerting her of the smoke spreading through her unit.
She saw signs that the fire was coming from her bedroom and deliberately avoided opening the door to that room before gathering her dogs and evacuating.
“This is a case where maybe even Hollywood helped us, because she actually told us that she saw on TV that she should never open a door where she knew there was a fire behind it, and she did that,” said Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver Alkire.
Firefighters say by keeping doors closed, it limits the fire from spreading, reduces the room temperature and keeps carbon monoxide levels down.
In this case, it limited the damage to a single room, and it only took firefighters about five minutes to extinguish the fire.
“To hear that she did something heroic like that and very smart and intelligent like that, it kind of shocks me,” said Michael Berry, one of the victim’s neighbors. “Because I just see her wave at me and go in her car and ride off. That’s it, so…”
Investigators say the woman also followed their textbook advice and getting out of the house and staying out---leaving it to firefighters to rescue her other pets.