Around the dinnertime hour on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, sisters Cora and Loraina Krewson were busy playing in an upstairs bedroom of their home on 5568 SE Oak Street in Portland, Oregon when danger struck. The girls heard a smoke alarm go off and noticed smoke billowing into the room from under the door.
The girls quickly checked the bedroom’s door knob to see if it was warm to determine whether or not they could exit through the door, down the stairs, and out of their home. The knob was warm – indicating that there was probably fire nearby – so they kept the door closed. Quickly thinking, the eldest of the sisters pried open the bedroom’s window, exited onto the covered porch below, climbed down a few more feet onto the roof of a shed, and finally stepped down onto a retaining wall in the home's back yard, safely escaping the fire.
Meanwhile, down on the home's first floor, the girls' mother also heard a smoke alarm and raced upstairs to reach her children. With the fire burning hot and fast, the 35-year-old woman received burns to her face and hands as she ran upstairs to find her children and help her family escape. The injuries she received were non-life threatening and she is making a full recovery.
Sisters Cora and Loraina Krewson and their mother Lindsay visited KOIN Studio 6 on Friday, January 21, 2010 to talk about their experience of activating and successfully executing a home fire escape plan. Portland Fire & Rescue’s Assistant Public Information Officer and Lieutenant Damon Simmons was on hand to present the sisters with awards and medals, praising their bravery and quick thinking.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds all community members that practicing a fire escape plan and having working smoke alarms can save your life.