WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington native Raymond Carrino awoke December 29, 2013 to smoke filling the bedroom of his home at the intersection of Kerr Ave. and MLK Parkway.
"The smoke alarm was going off and as I rose up in the bed, the house was filled with smoke," explained Carrino. "By the time I figured out that the house was on fire, the flames were already coming into the room."
Carrino raced out of his home in time to save himself but nothing else. His home was a total loss after the fire. He said the only thing that saved his life was his smoke alarm. It woke him from his sleep.
"If it wasn't for the smoke alarm, I wouldn't be here today talking to you," explained Carrino. "I'd be dead."
The Wilmington Fire Department is now sharing the survivor's story to encourage others to get their smoke detectors checked. In the coming weeks, representatives from the department will go door-to-door in Wilmington neighborhoods to check detectors and hand out new ones.
"If someone does not have an alarm or needs help with alarms, we have a grant that's funded to where we'll help and we'll put those alarms up free with no charge," said Randy Burton, a battalion chief with the Wilmington Fire Department.
Raymond Carrino hopes his story will save the lives of others.
"After I tell them my story about how the house burned, I tell them go home and check your smoke detector," said Carrino.
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