The story could have ended a very different way had an Elbert County grandmother not had a working smoke alarm, the Elizabeth Fire Department said Thursday.
The woman was home alone Tuesday morning when a fire started in an upstairs bedroom.
"I was sound asleep when the smoke alarm went off and woke me up," she said.
After being jolted awake, the woman hurried to the hallway and saw smoke drifting out of a bedroom door. She immediately got herself and her two dogs out of the home, and called 911 once she was safely outside.
"If it was not for working smoke alarms, there might have been a different outcome that morning," Fire Marshal Kara Gerczynski said in a statement.
The Elizabeth Fire Department says that 51 percent of fire fatalities happen between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. In instances where homes don't have a smoke alarm, including recent fires in the Springs, the only way residents are aware of the fire is if someone wakes up and smells smoke.
"It's very important that every resident have working smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms every month and change the batteries every year," Gerczynski said.