Woman, Son Escape House Fire

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A woman and her 3-year-old son narrowly avoided death after a fire swept through their home in north Payson Thursday afternoon.

Payson Fire Chief Marty deMasi said the 19-year-old woman and her son were upstairs when the fire started shortly after 1 p.m. at 1213 Carefree Circle.

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Payson firefighters examine what is left of a house on North Carefree Circle Thursday afternoon.

After noticing smoke, the two tried to go down the stairs, but were unable because of the large amount of smoke in the stairwell.

The woman then tried to open an upstairs window, but could not get it open, deMasi said. They then were able to open a small upstairs bathroom window.

The two jumped out of the window onto the first floor roof where the fire was burning and raced across the roof to the side of the home where a recreational vehicle was parked.



Smoke detectorsThe Payson Fire Department offers free smoke detectors to any residents who request one.People can either pick up a smoke detector at one of the Payson fire stations, or call (928) 474-5242, ext. 300.

The mother and child then leapt onto the roof of the RV and made their way down to the ground.

"They are very lucky to be alive," deMasi said. "It could have been a horrible tragedy."

Both the woman and her son were transported to Payson Regional Medical Center where they were treated for smoke inhalation.

"They both took in a good bit of smoke," deMasi said. "They took in a good snoot-full. Smoke inhalation is tough. It does not take that much to injure you."

The fire chief said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but does not appear to be suspicious.

He said the two were extremely lucky to escape with minor injuries.

"Apparently, there was no smoke detector in the home," he said. "That would have given them some earlier warning."

He added that when they realized there was a fire, it was nearly too late.

The dollar damage to the home is not yet known, deMasi said, but it is substantial. The home is currently unlivable.

"Two rooms were gutted, and the rest of the home had heat and substantial smoke damage," he said.

He said this fire shows the importance of having a working smoke detector in homes.

If the woman had been asleep, he said, she probably would have died.

The Payson Fire Department offers free smoke detectors to any residents who request one.

People can either pick up a smoke detector at one of the Payson fire stations, or call (928) 474-5242, ext. 300.

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