Smoke detectors saved Delhi family's life in devastating fire
Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DELHI (KWWL) -
Smoke detectors saved three lives in Delhi this week, after a fire early Wednesday morning destroyed their family's business and home.
At Dubuque's Kennedy Mall Friday, Josh Lansing, his girlfriend Kayla Wagener and their two-year-old daughter went shopping for new clothes, after escaping their burning home Wednesday with only the shirts on their back.
"The stairway actually exploded as we walked out the door, so if we would've been in the stairway for another 10 seconds, I don't think we would've got out," Lansing said.
He credits the family's working smoke detectors with saving their lives.
"We woke up sometime in the early morning to the smoke detectors going off," Lansing said. "If you don't have smoke detectors, go out and buy some. Make sure they work, if you have them already."
The fire started around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday in Lansing's business Delhi Power Sports. The family lived above the shop in an apartment and got out with just their lives.
Lansing said he will rebuild and thanks the Delhi community members for their overwhelming support.
"In a small community like that, everybody has offered anything they can provide. I really can't thank them enough," he said. "They've offered us places to live, their vehicles, anything. Clothes, shoes."
He also expressed his gratitude for the Delhi Fire Department.
Officials say the fire is not suspicious, though they are still looking for a cause.
Brian Palmer is one the fire fighters who responded to the scene.
"Any time you have a steel structure, it's hard just for the simple fact that you can't get in to fight what's burning as well until you can get some of the steel out of the way," he said, describing the blaze.
While the building is a total loss, Lansing and Wagener recovered from a fire-proof box their daughter's baby book.
"We'll be okay," Lansing said. "We're still alive. That's the main thing.
Supporters have established a fund for the family at Heritage Bank in Delhi. People wishing to donate can do so either in person or by mailing in a check clearly marked for Josh Lansing's fund.
The bank's address is 402 Franklin Street, Delhi, Iowa 52223. Its number is 563-922-2174.
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