SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) — A young woman from South Jordan was enjoying a lazy day, sleeping in, when she was awoken in her basement apartment by a smoke alarm around 10:30 a.m. this morning.
Lauren Smith says, at first, she wasn’t too concerned, figuring it was just a random occurrence, and the residents of the home upstairs would turn it off — but then the alarm kept going. After her attempts to silence the alarms from inside her apartment, she figured she better go check it out.
“I went to see if they had gone outside to get out of the house,” Smith recalls. “I didn’t see anyone so I went around to the front to knock on the door and there was no answer.”
But she could still hear the alarm, so she said she looked through a front window. She peered in and found the homeowner’s elderly father, Ronald Johnson, sitting in his TV room with the dog at his side trying to alert him.
“Remy (the dog) was freaking out and I could see smoke — not a lot, but I knew I needed to get in there.”
Smith said she tried the front door; but it was locked, so she ran to the garage and entered the house. There was smoke, but she couldn’t figure out the source. She said she started coughing and went in to let her elderly neighbor know they needed to get outside.
She assisted Johnson and the dog out onto the front porch but then remembered Johnson’s wife. She frantically asked him if she was still inside, and finding out she was in the garden, Smith went back in to find the source of the smoke. A pan containing sugar water, meant for hummingbirds had inadvertently been left and boiled dry and started to burn.
Smith then opened all the windows and doors and went to find Merna, who was picking raspberries. Once everyone was safe, she stayed with them until her landlord returned home just a short time later.
“I came home and found out that my house almost burned down,” said homeowner Leeann Havens. “Thanks to Lauren, everything is okay. The pan had boiled completely dry, and there was tons of smoke. She turned off the stove and then thought to get Grandpa outside — not an easy feat.”
Smith says she didn’t think twice about helping out. “I’m just glad I could help and I was home,” Smith said. “It’s my home too, and I was willing to do what it takes to make sure everyone and everything was okay.”
EDITORS NOTE: Lauren is the daughter of ABC4.com Digital Producer Heather W. Smith and she is glad this news had a good outcome.