DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) — Delphi resident Luz Cruz got a wake up call Thursday morning she’ll never forget.
“I really didn’t hear anything until my aunt started screaming that the house was on fire,” Cruz said.
At about 5 a.m., Delphi fire crews were called to Cruz’s home in 300 block of North Washington Street.
Cruz and seven others, including an infant, got out safe.
“I just panicked and I just ran outside,” said Cruz.
After exiting the home, the family realized the home next door was in danger. That’s when they alerted their neighbor Kim Jenkins.
“Flames were shooting everywhere,” Jenkins said. “The smoke was so bad you couldn’t even see.”
Jenkins, her husband and three grandchildren were able to get out safe. She said there were no smoke detectors in her home, and would not have known about the fire if the neighbors hadn’t told her.
“It could have played out a lot different, for both families,” said Jenkins. “It really could have because the houses are so close together.”
Cruz thinks the home had one smoke detector, but she didn’t know if it was working properly.
Delphi Fire Chief Darrell Sterrett said crews did not find any smoke detectors in the house.
Jenkins said she learned her lesson when it comes to fire safety and is having a smoke detector installed Thursday afternoon.
“Make sure you have smoke detectors in your house,” said Jenkins. “Make sure have a plan and know what you’re supposed to do.
Cruz said although her personal belonging are gone, she’s trying to look on the bright side.
“I’m really happy that we’re all OK,” said Cruz. “I mean, everything else we can just get along the way.”
The American Red Cross is helping Cruz and her family.
Sterrett said the house fire appears to have started in the home’s attic and electrical issues may have been a factor but the exact cause has yet to be determined.
Sterrett urges anyone without a smoke detector to call their nearest fire department. He said they will come and install a new one for free.