2 Tempe residents escape fire through window - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

2 Tempe residents escape fire through window

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

The Tempe Fire Department is crediting a couple with quick thinking and escaping a house fire Monday morning that happened in the area of Mill and Broadway.

Nick White hugged his wife Bethany tightly.  The couple is grateful to be alive after their townhouse caught fire.

"I started to smell something and the light down the hall seemed to be more illuminated than normal. I peaked out, I saw smoke," said Nick.

Bethany added, "He said, Bethany, wake up the house is on fire."

It was just before 3:30 a.m.  The couple's garage and home was filled with smoke.  Quick thinking Nick ushered his wife out the bedroom window.

"We opened the window and right as I'm walking to the window, I pick up some clothes, cell phone, toss it out the window," she said.

"I just thought one day if ever there's a fire in the house, what would happen? How would I get out?" said Nick.

The distance from the ledge to the concrete step below -- about nine feet.  The homeowner said they made the decision to wait for firefighters instead of jumping down.

"That was the mission.  Once upon arrival, as soon as first crews got here, immediately threw a ladder to them," said Deputy Chief Mitch Bycura of the Tempe Fire Department.

The couple was able to get down to safety unharmed.  Their cat was found in the garage and is expected to be okay.

"I always have a back up plan.  I just do."

TFD says that back up plan, most likely saved lives.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  There were working smoke detectors in the home, but the owner smelled the fire before they went off.


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