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Smoke alarm, dad save family of 9 from house fire that could have been fatal

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A house fire broke out Friday morning, but thankfully everyone made it out safely. Family and firemen say the smoke alarm is the reason everyone is alive.

The home is a total loss, but the alarm alerted nine people inside to rush out of the home to safety.

"The only thing I could think about was, get everybody out. That`s one thing I couldn`t have on my mind is any fatalities, no," said 31-year-old LaRon Ealy.

Around 5:00 on Friday morning, Ealy said his fiance woke him up after hearing the smoke alarm going off.

"I jumped out the window onto my car and I had to bust the door down in order to get everybody else out," Ealy said.

Seven kids were inside the home, ages four to 13.

"I had to cover myself with a blanket to protect myself from the fire and the smoke," added Ealy, "You couldn`t see anything, you couldn`t breathe. In order for me to breathe, I had to go to windows to get my air then go back in."

The fire was at the front of the house, so Ealy's kids had to jump out the back window.

"We have security bars and I had to bend the bars in order to get them out of the house safely," said Ealy.

Luckily, everyone made it out safely.

"That is the perfect example of a smoke alarm success," said JoAnn Woody, the Disaster Program Specialist  for American Red Cross in Western Missouri Region.

Woody went door-to-door to more than 300 homes on Friday in a high-risk neighborhood which recently experienced a fire-related fatality.

"We`re taking this opportunity to remind residents in the area that it`s very important that every home has a functioning smoke alarm," Woody said.

Whenever there is a tragedy like that, Red Cross teams up with the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department to deliver basic fire safety information.

"We have one of the most successful smoke detector giveaways in the nation, however, the success is not felt when we have to go to another fatality fire or when we have to give notification to family and friends that there`s a death as the result of a fire," said Battalion Chief James Garrett, the public information officer for KCFD.

Ealy said the working smoke alarm in their home saved lives this morning.

"It`s a total loss, but I also gained because there were no fatalities. That`s the main thing that I`m happy about, everyone is safe, everyone is well, just got to start all over," Ealy said, "Please check your alarms, because it could have been worse, It could have been worse had the alarm not gone off."

The homeowners of the house say they did not have insurance, and they aren't quite sure what they're going to do.

Anyone in the greater metropolitan area needing a free smoke alarm to be installed may contact the American Red Cross smoke alarm installation team at (816) 841-5242.

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