Aftermath of Helena house fire showcases simple precautions that save lives

Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 00:19:38-04

HELENA – “I woke up around ten o’clock to the fire alarm going off,” said Jenni Hagen.

A house fire is one of the more devastating losses that a person or family can experience. Because when a house burns down, people aren’t losing just a building, but a home.

Late last month, fire crews rushed to the scene of this house Helena, which may not look bad on the outside, but once you walk through the door you see the inside suffered significant damage.

Standing in the living room of the home where officials say the fire started, may look awful, but according to fire marshal Lou Antonick, things could have been much worse for the family.

Everyone got out safely this time because of some simple precautions, including installing working smoke alarms in every room of the house. Closing doors to slow the spread of fire. And having an escape plan that everyone in the house knows and knows well.

All these factors helped save the life of Jenni Hagen and her family when she only had minutes to act.

“I grabbed my daughter, she’s 16 months, and my dog and exited out the back door,” said Hagen. “Put them in the car as I was dialing 911. I called 911, backed my car away from the house, because it was parked really close. And in that amount of time, I saw flames coming out the front of my house. It was probably two minuets from when I woke up to when I saw the flames out the front.”

Smoke detectors, shut doors and an escape plan. Simple things to remember that could save your life and home.

For more information on fire protection check out the National Fire Protection Association, the Close Your Door safety initiative, and the Helena Fire Department.

Reporting by Andy Curtis for MTN News