GREENVILLE – A 9-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero after she awoke to the sound of smoke detectors Friday morning and alerted her family of smoke and fire in their home.
Shortly after 6 a.m., emergency personnel from Greenville City Fire Department along with Greenville Township Fire and Rescue and officers from the Greenville City Police Department were dispatched to the 100 block of Palm Drive in regards to a possible structure fire. Officers from the Greenville Police Department, being the first to arrive on the scene, reported flames and heavy smoke coming from the rear of the residence located at 113 Palm Drive.
Joanne Stoner, who was home and in bed at the time of the fire along with her husband, Eric, and two young children, credited her 9-year-old daughter for alerting the family of the danger and allowing everyone to escape the home safely and without injury.
“She did; I am so proud of her,” Joanne Stoner said.
Joanne Stoner added that as part of the family’s evacuation plan, both her son and daughter met at the mailbox in front of the residence as had been previously practiced in the weeks beforehand.
“This is the perfect example of how working smoke detectors in the home along with fire safety education programs in the schools do work to save lives,” Greenville Fire Chief Russ Thompson said. “What this child has done today is truly remarkable. She deserves to be recognized for her actions.”
According to the Greenville City Fire Department, the fire is thought to be electrical in nature and have started at the rear of the structure. The residence suffered extensive smoke and fire damage, leaving the family without a home.
When asked about assistance from the American Red Cross, Joanne Stoner said assistance was not necessary at this time, adding that she and her family had multiple options offered from family and friends to help see them through the tough times ahead.
The fire will remain under investigation by the Greenville City Fire Department.