Four people were safe Wednesday after an early-morning house fire in Portland that officials say could have had a “tragic outcome” if not for smoke alarms. 

Portland firefighters responded to 80 Sherwood St. at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday to find heavy fire on the porch of the two-story single-family home that was spreading to the interior of the first and second floors, according to Capt. John Brennan.  

Crews knocked down the fire on the porch before moving inside. They had to open the walls and roof to extinguish the fire, which was controlled by 4 a.m. Firefighters cleared the scene around 5:30 a.m. 

The family of four, two adults and two children, were sleeping when they were awakened by their smoke alarms, according to a news release, and they were able to escape safely. 

Property records indicate the home is owned by Joseph and Kristin Brennan, who are of no relation to Capt. Brennan. 

Portland Fire Chief Keith Gautreau said in a statement that the alarms “absolutely” played a key role in allowing the family to evacuate safely. 

 “Without that early notification, this fire could have had a much more tragic outcome,” he said. 

Brennan also noted the importance of smoke alarms and suggested that homeowners change the batteries in their detectors at daylight savings when the clocks are changed and to test the batteries every month. 

“There are times we respond to fires where there are smoke alarms but the batteries are dead,” he said.

The cause of the fire has not been released, but Brennan said it appears to have started outside the home and has been ruled accidental.


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