A recent fire in Harrison, Illinois, almost cost one 71-year-old woman her life when she was unable to get out of her room, ABC affiliate WLOX 13 reports.
According to the news outlet, the elderly women had been asleep in her home when she awoke to the smell of smoke and realized her house was on fire. By this time, the fire had grown too large and she was trapped inside her bedroom. Luckily she had a phone in the room and was able to call 911, though the blaze was quite big when rescue workers got there.
Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan said the women suffered from smoke inhalation, but was not burned. He also reported that the house had no working smoke detectors.
"Early warning devices can be the difference between life and death," Sullivan told the publication.
He added that during the holiday season it's even more important to practice fire safety regimens as the use of lights, candles and cords can be real fire hazards.
Although this woman was able to reach a phone in order to call for help, many times seniors living alone might not be so lucky in similar situations, such as after suffering a fall. In order to stay prepared at all times, elderly people living alone may want to install a medical alert system into their homes so they have access to emergency personnel 24/7.