A family of three was displaced Sunday after a fire broke out in the attic of their home.

Thomas Pechal with Temple Fire & Rescue reports that 11 fire units were dispatched to the 800 block of South Henderson Street at 6:31 PM. Upon arrival, fire crews spotted smoke issuing from the attic of a home. The residents made it out safely and informed firefighters that no one else was inside. They were unharmed.

Firefighters had the flames under control by 6:54 PM. A preliminary investigation determined that the fire was the result of an electrical malfunction in the attic. That room and a room directly below suffered extensive smoke and water damage. Dollar loss to the home was estimated at $10,000.

The family is staying with relatives and receiving assistance from the American Red Cross. They're lucky to be alive, as there were no smoke detectors in the home.

In a media release, Pechal offered the following safety tips in response to this fire:

To keep your family safe both day and night:

• Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home. 
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. 
• Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.
• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
• Develop an escape plan with two ways out of each room and designate a meeting place.
• Practice a fire drill at least twice a year so that everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.

Temple Fire & Rescue provides and installs smoke alarms and batteries at no charge to families who need assistance obtaining an alarm. Call Temple Fire & Rescue Administration Office at (254) 298-5682 during business hours to schedule an appointment. Bell County residents living outside of Temple needing a smoke alarm can contact the Bell County Fire Marshal’s Office at (254) 933-5589.

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