A smoke detector alerted a Kennewick woman about a fire in her bathroom Tuesday morning, allowing her to escape without injury, fire officials said.
Megan Bredeweg stayed home from work Tuesday because she wasn't feeling well, but was awakened by the smoke alarm.
"I saw smoke coming out of the bathroom ceiling and the bathroom mat and toilet cover were on fire," Bredeweg said as she watched firefighters cut holes in her roof to vent the smoke. "Flames had come down from the fan."
Bredeweg said she ran downstairs to grab a fire extinguisher and used it to put out the visible flames in the bathroom before closing the door, leaving the house and calling 911.
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When Kennewick fire crews arrived at the 7600 block of W. 13th Ave. around 9 a.m., there were some flames in the bathroom ceiling and a significant amount of active pressurized smoke in the attic, said Deputy Chief of Operations Marvin Leonard.
About 27 firefighters from Kennewick and Richland fire departments, and Benton Fire District 1 quickly extinguished the flames.
Bredeweg was worried about her three cats, but Leonard said he suspected the cats ran out in the commotion because no cats were found when firefighters searched the home.
Leonard said there still are many homes that lack working smoke detectors and Tuesday's fire is an example of how important they are.
"Even though the damage is done, it's very minimal," he said. "If the door is closed (and there's no smoke detector) that room could be completely engulfed in smoke and flame without knowing what's going on."