March 21, 2014 12:16:25 PM
Carl Smith - email@example.com
Three occupants of an Apple Street home escaped significant injuries during a Friday structure fire.
Three engines were dispatched to 317 Apple Street at approximately midnight after an emergency call was placed, Charles Yarbrough, Starkville Fire Department training officer, said. Once on the scene, firefighters found a fully involved house fire burning in at least two of the building's rooms, he said.
Additionally, a vehicle parked at the residence was on fire.
Three people were at home when the fire occurred, Yarbrough said, but all escaped without serious injury. A small portion of a bedroom ceiling fell onto one of the residents' faces while she slept, waking her up in time to help family members escape, he said. Yarbrough described her injury as minor and "nothing to go to the hospital over."
"It's an absolute blessing everyone is alive and escaped without serious injury," he said.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 10-15 minutes, he said, but remained on scene to check for hotspots.
The fire is believed to have been started by a space heater in one of the building's bedrooms, Yarbrough said of the fire's preliminary investigation. The house was equipped with smoke detectors at the time, he said, and functioned properly.
"We want to remind people to be safe when using space heaters to stay warm at night," Yarbrough said. "Additionally, residents should always have smoke detectors in their homes and should regularly inspect them to assure they're in working order."
The Apple Street residence is located north of Miss. Highway 182, about a block away from a city-owned structure.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch