Family escapes fire that damages Sandy Springs home - CBS46 News

Family escapes fire that damages Sandy Springs home

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Firefighters were on the scene on Stella Drive in Sandy Springs. Firefighters were on the scene on Stella Drive in Sandy Springs.

Firefighters are trying to figure out what sparked an overnight fire that damaged a 4,600-square-foot home.

Homeowner Tom Nohstadt said that he lives in the Stella Drive home with his wife, their two daughters and their two dogs. Two of his in-laws also are staying with them. It was about 12:30 a.m. Thursday when family members realized something was wrong. Some of the family members were asleep. Others were getting ready to go to sleep, Nohstadt said.

"The alarm went off, and we thought someone went outside," Nohstadt said. "It ended up being the fire alarm. We came downstairs, and the back deck area was engulfed in flames. We don't know if that's where it started or not. [We] got everybody out the house immediately, and called the fire department. They were here very quickly."

The size of the home presented a challenge for firefighters. By the time they arrived, the flames had spread into the entire attic. Seeing no smoke on the first floor, firefighters entered the home and tried to fight the fire from the inside. They were quickly forced out.

"We started seeing from the outside that the roof started giving way in spots," said Battalion Chief Ronald Thomas of Sandy Springs Fire-Rescue. "That's when we backed them out before the roof started coming down, and that's when we got the ladder up and got an aerial stream and were able to back it down from the outside pretty good before we sent them back in."

The firefighters were not injured. All of the family members were able to escape safely with their two dogs.

Nohstadt said he's glad he and his family members relied on their training of what to do in a fire.

"I think when something like this happens, that's the first thing you think of, call the fire department and start getting everyone outside just to make sure everybody's safe first, and that's what we did," he said.

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