Fire marshal says smoke detector would have saved fire victim

Fire marshal says smoke detector would have saved Crossville fire victim

Posted:
Investigators were at the home Monday to figure out what exactly caused the fire. Investigators were at the home Monday to figure out what exactly caused the fire.
Investigators said Debrah Monday would have survived the fire if there was a working smoke detector. Investigators said Debrah Monday would have survived the fire if there was a working smoke detector.
"‘Everyday she was in my life, from the time we got up from to almost the time we went to bed. We saw each other multiple times, we ate together," said neighbor Rietta Rose. "‘Everyday she was in my life, from the time we got up from to almost the time we went to bed. We saw each other multiple times, we ate together," said neighbor Rietta Rose.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

CROSSVILLE (WATE) - Two victims in Crossville apartment fire were still in critical condition Monday at Vanderbilt Medical's Burn Center after a third victim died of her injuries.

The flames broke out last Wednesday inside an apartment on Dunbar Avenue.  

Firefighters found Debrah Monday, 57, her friend, Steven McNamara, 58, and her daughter Channa Brown, 31, unconscious in the bedroom.  

Monday died from her injuries on Friday. Investigators discovered a working smoke detector could have saved her life.  

Fire and insurance investigators were back at the scene of the two unit apartment Monday to take a closer at the refrigerator, which officials believe malfunctioned and caught fire.

The victims suffered burns and smoke inhalation.

"After breathing in superheating gases, your breathing and respiratory systems shut down right away and that's what we're looking at them," said Rick Myers, Crossville's fire marshal.  

Rietta Rose says she's lucky to be alive.

The apartment she shares with husband Dennis Mikstad only sustained minor damage from the fire that broke out next door.

"We heard this unbelievably loud boom. I didn't know what had fallen, but it sounded like something fell through the house," said Rose. 

Rose just got the news that Debrah Monday had been killed. She says the two were close friends.

"‘Everyday she was in my life, from the time we got up from to almost the time we went to bed. We saw each other multiple times, we ate together," said Rose.  

Investigators said Debrah Monday would have survived the fire if there was a working smoke detector. There was one found in the apartment, but the battery had been removed.

The apartment happens to be located one block from the fire department. Firefighters were on the scene within two minutes of the 911 call, and had the victims out within 10 minutes.  

"That is amazing to me, I mean really," said Rose.  

Investigators said timing was everything in this case.  

"Another ten minutes, we would have lost the building," said Myers.  

Crossville's fire marshal says there have been three other fires caused by refrigerators in the past two to three weeks.

Rietta Ross and her husband are staying in a hotel until their apartment is deemed safe for living conditions.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.