Neighbor credited for saving several family members from house fire in SE Austin

A neighbor saved several family members Thursday morning after their house caught fire in Southeast Austin. “I peeked out the blinds, when I looked out the whole front of the house here was on fire.” Chad Harrigan lives on Nuckols Crossing and said there was an odd glow coming through is window, which made him look outside. Fortunately for his sleeping neighbors whose home was on fire, he was awake. ”I immediately ran out and started banging on the living room window. I saw my friend get up off the couch and she started telling the three boys to hurry up get, up that there was a fire,” he said. The mother and her children ran out the back of the home, and woke up the other two residents inside.  Everyone was okay, though the mother and the three young boys suffered from smoke inhalation, and were taken to the hospital. They were released later that day. 

Harrigan said one dog was unaccounted for but she was actually under the home during the fire and later came out muddy but not hurt. The fire extensively damaged the front half of the home and crept out into the yard ruining the boys' Christmas present. “That actually hit her pretty hard considering they had just got the Playscape for a gift for Christmas,” Harrigan said.

The Austin Fire Department said there were no working smoke detectors in the home. Division Chief Rob Vires works for the AFD, “It's the most important thing you can do. Our first and foremost concern is for life safety and the best way to be alerted to a fire is a working smoke alarm.” Capt. Vires said every bedroom should have a smoke alarm and in hallways outside of bedrooms. “You can get those either at a home improvement store or you can call the fire department to have one installed for you,” he said.

Luckily for the family at this home Harrigan came to the rescue. “I was meant to be here this morning to help get them out of this house. I am just grateful that everyone is alive, my best friend is okay, (and) her three boys are alive and well,” he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Harrigan has set up a GoFundMe account for the family, if you would like to help, you can click here.

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