HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A family of seven escaped their burning home one year ago after being woken up by a fire alarm they didn't even know was there.
As it turns out, a local fire department installed the device as part of a free alarm installation initiative.
The home on Racepath Street near Myrtle Beach is still in shambles today after it caught fire on Dec. 22, 2015. Fortunately, the family is doing just fine thanks to a push to keep working smoke detectors in every home.
"I had just got out of church service that Sunday, and I was trying to get the pieces. You know, for one, was everybody safe?" said Rev. William Gause.
Gause is a community leader in the Racepath neighborhood and has kept tabs on the family who escaped the burning home a year ago.
Jamie Spivey and her children were saved in part by a blitz initiative by firefighters and the American Red Cross.
"The family that I have talked to, you know they're pretty good right now as far as a place to stay," Gause said. "They're kind of getting back into their daily lives."
Gause credits the firefighters who went through the Racepath community installing the free fire alarms.
"If it had not been for the fire alarms, they would not be here today," Gause said of the family.
The reverend added it's important to always remember what's important during the holidays, no matter how small one might think it is.
"We can buy clothes, and we can buy a home, but we can't buy life," Gause said. "But fire alarms will save a life. If you don't have it, you need it. And I thank God that every room in my house got 'em."