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Official: Smoke detector saves renters' lives

DULUTH - Officials said a smoke detector helped save two sleeping residents when their Duluth home caught fire in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.

The fire, which has been ruled accidental, struck a two-story home in the 4100 block of Wildridge Drive about 3 a.m.

Two adult male occupants were displaced by the damage but did not request Red Cross assistance. They were renting at the time of the fire, which severely damaged the house, and planned to stay with nearby family and friends, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

According to fire investigators, the fire may have been caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.

Rutledge said 26 firefighters worked about an hour to completely extinguish the blaze. No injuries were reported.

"This fire serves as an example of why a working smoke detector inside a home is so important," Rutledge said.

In general, firefighters suggest keeping a smoke detector on every level of the home and in each bedroom.