Smoke alarm saves family in Hubbard house fire

Firefighters from the Hubbard Eagle Joint Fire District check for hot spots Tuesday at 2815 Applegate Road SE in Hubbard Township, where a fire broke out in the garage just before 8 a.m. A working smoke detector alerted residents to the fire and no one was injured, but several family pets, including a dog, died in the blaze. Tribune Chronicle / Emily Earnhart

HUBBARD TOWNSHIP — A working smoke detector saved the lives of a township family after their home caught fire Tuesday morning.

Five people and a couple of animals evacuated the home at 2815 Applegate Road SE just before 8 a.m. after they heard the smoke detector and saw flames coming from their garage, according to Eagle Joint Fire District Chief Ron Stanish. He said the fire started in the garage of the split-level home, but the cause is still under investigation.

No one was injured, but several family pets died in the blaze, including a Siberian German Shepherd mixed breed dog and a couple of chinchillas that were housed in the garage. The amount of damage has not been determined, but Eagle Joint Fire District Lt. Mike Mogg said it was a total loss.

Stanish said Liberty firefighters were first on the scene, but an estimated 35 firefighters from eight departments — Eagle Joint Fire District, Liberty, Vienna, the Vienna Air Reserve Station, Coitsville, Brookfield and Shenango and West Middlesex departments in Pennsylvania — responded to the three-alarm blaze. He said the fire spread to the roof and was nearly extinguished by 10:30 a.m., but firefighters were still hosing down the debris to prevent any hot spots from reigniting well into the afternoon.

“The fire caused heavy heat and smoke damage to the garage on the first floor and fire damage on the second,” Stanish said.

The American Red Cross was on the scene and is caring for and found shelter for the family.

The state fire investigator was expected to be investigating through Tuesday afternoon.