"I woke up and my dog was trying to get underneath me," she said. "She's only 2 pounds but she saved me."
Moments later, Mozingo was leaping, dog in arms, over a fire in the laundry room adjacent to her bedroom to grab her roommates and evacuate the burning house.
"Her bedroom door was closed; that kept the heat and smoke from getting to her right away," he said.
In addition to keeping doors closed when sleeping, Mack said, smoke alarms should be properly installed at the entrances to bedrooms, batteries should be replaced every year, smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and every home should have an escape plan.
Mozingo went to her bathroom after she woke up, and was frustrated to find the light wouldn't turn on. She said she thought the power might be out due to a fall storm, but wasn't concerned.
However, she looked toward her still closed bedroom door and saw light underneath. She opened the door and found fire in the hallway in a laundry-room area between her room and the rest of the house.
"I turned around, grabbed my dog and my robe and my phone," she said.
Mozingo rushed to wake her roommate
"She woke me up and I thought she was going to break down my door," Ayre said.
The women first turned back to the laundry room, thinking they could put out the fire.
"As soon as I turned the corner that laundry basket went up in flames and the smoke alarms started going off," Ayre said.
The women evacuated the house and waited for fire crews to arrive.
"I think I was screaming the whole time," Ayre said. "I've never been more scared."
RFA crews responded at about
It was unclear at the time, but investigators later traced the source of the fire to an extension cord in Mozingo's room, she said.
"It's called a high-resistance connection," Mack said.
The cord wasn't plugged in all the way and caused an electrical fire in the adjacent laundry area.
Crews contained the fire to the laundry room, but heat and smoke damaged nearly every other room in the house. Plastic items in several rooms were melted and most walls were covered in soot.
Mozingo has homeowner's insurance and Ayre has renter's insurance. Heritage Restoration was working at the house Tuesday.
Mozingo plans to move back into the house, but said the home will likely need to be stripped to the studs and rebuilt in the inside, a process estimated to take five to six months.
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