By Morgan Bryce
At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, Opelika resident Emily Key was on her way home from work when she noticed what appeared to be a faint trail of smoke coming from the roof of a neighbor’s home. Her first thought was that they had a fire in a fireplace due to the unseasonally cool temperatures as she continued toward her house.
“I just kept going down the road and I began to think, ‘what if,’ so I went back and investigated to see where the smoke was coming from, and it was coming from the vents instead of a fireplace.”
It was the decision to turn around and go back that quite possibly saved the lives of those inside the duplex on Easter morning.
After contacting the authorities, she knocked on the doors of the duplex, but no one answered. The Opelika Police Department responded and was able to rouse the individuals in one of the units and they learned that the resident of the unit that was actually on fire was at work.
The Opelika Fire Department quickly arrived and put out the fire, but not before smoke had started entering the attic space of the adjoining unit. The family inside had been asleep and were unaware of the danger lurking above their heads as they slept.
“Not many people would have stopped and did what she did at that hour, and that shows that there are good people who live (here in Opelika). That girl (should) be commended for what she did,” said landlord Patricia White.
“I am very thankful that I was in the right place at the right time and was able to help a neighbor in need,” Key said.