Girl safely escapes fire that blackens Medford living room

A Medford girl was treated for smoke inhalation Monday after her family's home caught fire at about 7 p.m. in the 300 block of Columbus Avenue.

The girl, whose age is estimated to be 10, thought her older brother was still in the home when the blaze broke out in the family's living room, said Medford fire investigator Randy Cooper.

When she evacuated the house and didn't see her brother, she returned to the smoke-filled corridors to search for him before firefighters arrived. Crews were on the scene one minute after 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call about the fire, Cooper said.

Meanwhile, her brother was at a friend's house watching television, Cooper said. Her mother and mother's boyfriend were also away at the time of fire. They were doing laundry at a neighbor's house, Cooper said.

The girl was transported to Providence Medford Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

Medford firefighters and four fire engines quickly extinguished the blaze, keeping it confined to the living room, Cooper said.

The fire caused about $20,000 in damage to the living room floor, ceiling, sofa and other furnishings and also displaced the family, he said. Its cause remains under investigation.

The American Red Cross provided the family with money for food, clothes and hotel accommodations for three nights.

The home did not have a working smoke detector, Cooper said.

"If they had a working smoking detector, this probably wouldn't have happened," he said. "We would have been able to take care of it much faster and saved the home."

— Paris Achen

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