When a Bluffton family’s house caught fire, the grandmother and her two grandchildren were not even aware the flames were burning in their kitchen. That’s why the family and firefighters say they are fortunate to be alive. They want to encourage others to be sure there are working smoke detectors in their home, too.

At first glance, one can hardly tell there was a fire in the home off of Simmonsville Road.

“It was a frightening thing,” said Elouise Green.

Traces of smoke and soot remain in her kitchen, all signs of the fire that broke-out around 5 p.m. on Monday. Green says the stove fire could have cost lives.

“The girl ran out the room and said, ‘Granny! Something on fire'” she remembers.

She says her two grandchildren were in the house with her, one napping on the couch. They were alerted of the stove fire by their smoke detector.

“‘Cause the smoke was, you know, gushing out by then,” she says. “If the smoke detector wasn’t beeping, nobody would hear, you know. Nobody would not have known the fire been out there.”

Firefighters say the smoke detector is often times the hero.

“It also alerted the neighbors that there was problem in the house, and they came over with a fire extinguisher and actually put the fire out with a fire extinguisher,” Bluffton Fire District spokesman Captain Randy Hunter says.  “So, it was a win-win for everybody, minimal damage to the home, and lives were saved because of that smoke detector.”

Firefighters want to remind everyone that smoke detectors also have to be maintained, which means checking batteries twice a year, and installing new smoke detectors at least every 10 years.