Medford house fire claims four cats; woman escapes

Homeowner made it out unharmed thanks to smoke detector

A smoke detector alerted a Medford woman in time for her to escape her burning home without injury early Tuesday, but her four cats died from smoke inhalation.

Four engines from Medford Fire-Rescue responded to 855 Mindy Sue at 4:50 a.m. The occupant, Rosalie Sable, had been awakened by her smoke detector and fled the home, fire officials said.

Flames burned the home's living room, and crews had the fire under control in about 10 minutes, but severe smoke damage was reported throughout the structure.

"They're looking at the cause right now," said Medford Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Erin Sawall.

Damage was estimated at $15,000. Sable is staying with family, and she has insurance, Sawall said.

"Smoke detectors save lives. This really is a situation where a smoke detector allowed her to get out," Sawall said. "This could have really been a tragedy."

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