Smoke detectors save lives of Sunman family

Wanda English Burnett

Last Wednesday a Sunman family’s home went up in flames.

According to information from the Sunman Fire Chief Bill Craig, the home of Estel and Linda Stamper on Blue Creek Road was fully engulfed in flames when their department arrived on the scene about 9:42 a.m. January 4.

The family was alerted by smoke detectors, with Chief Craig saying he wasn’t sure the family would have escaped unharmed had they not had the smoke detectors in place and heard them. Four people were inside the home when the fire began in the basement.

Chief Craig told the media they (firefighters) wanted to vent through the roof, but could only get to the front door before they called back the firefighters and the roof collapsed.
The walls are still standing, but two-thirds of the home is gone. He said the family was able to get just a few personal items out from the first floor.

The cause of the fire has not been released at this time.

Other departments assisting the Sunman department include Morris and St. Leon. There were over two dozen firefighters on the scene at one time according to Craig, who said it took over five hours to put out the fire.

Sixty-five percent of fires that occur in the winter months are caused by people using inserts, wood burning stoves, candles and more commonly, space heaters. Chief Craig said to make sure space heaters are well away from curtains, papers, etc.