An alert neighbor notifies the occupant of the home, who got out safely

FARMINGTON — Alecia Purdie smelled something that just didn’t smell right, and after sniffing around her home, she noticed the odor was stronger outside.

That’s when she saw smoke coming from the garage of a neighbor’s house across the street, shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday. Purdie said she ran over to the house and banged on the door, and that's when she saw flames coming out the back door and so she called 911.

By taking quick action, Purdie may have prevented the home from sustaining more damage, and possibly saved the lives of the occupant and pets inside.

Farmington Assistant Fire Chief John Weidenborner said firefighters responded for the report of smoke in the garage and a possible structure fire on Old Mill Road, near the border with the Wayne County town of Macedon.

When firefighters arrived, Weidenborner said they found heavy smoke coming from the front of the garage and flames coming out the back.

“We had a decent response time from my engine, and Victor’s ladder arrived at about the same time,” Weidenborner said. “We made a quick attack on the fire and confined it to the garage, which was the place of origin.”

An occupant in his late teens was inside the home but was unaware of the fire until he was alerted by the neighbor, Weidenborner said.

The teen was able to rescue two dogs, and a first responder saved one of two cats. A second cat was found unharmed later on, according to Purdie.

The structure sustained smoke and water damage, Weidenborner said.

The American Red Cross was to help the family.

No injuries were reported. The Ontario County Emergency Management Office is investigating the cause of the fire. In addition to Farmington and Victor firefighters, crews from Fishers, Manchester and Egypt as well as Victor Farmington Ambulance responded.

“Luckily, everybody got out safe,” Weidenborner said.

Purdie said all that went through her mind was to call 911 and make sure nobody was in the house.

“Just a reaction,” Purdie said. “I’m grateful — and relieved — we were able to get to it early enough that hopefully the damage is minimal.”