Heavy smoke began filling Lynn Smith’s Owasco home when the sound of an ADT smoke detector woke Smith and her family.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, a portable heater in a back bedroom of the home caught fire.

Inside the home were Smith’s daughter and two grandchildren — an infant and a 4-year-old.

“As it was burning, the panel burst into flames and it fell off the heating unit and fell on to the carpeting and caught the carpet on fire,” Smith explained.

Just hours before the fire started — Smith says her daughter had already taken the baby out of the bedroom.

“She woke up at 2 in the morning and my daughter brought her into bed with her, so thank God it was just the heater in here that caught fire,” Smith said.

Weeks later, Smith is reunited with the entire team of people who she says played life-saving roles on the morning of March 5 — the Owasco Fire Department and members of the ADT security team.

“As I watched the firefighters doing their jobs, I couldn’t help but think that if I didn’t have an ADT system in the house, the fire could have spread so quickly while we were sleeping and it could have been tragic,” Smith said.

Smith spent time with the ADT caller, Amanda Willoughby, who made sure her family was safe.

Willoughby was flown in from Knoxville for this single moment.

Owasco firefighters attended the reunion with Smith while taking the chance to reinforce safety precautions.

“The smoke detector that’s hooked to a center like that is an excellent idea because they did call 911 like they were supposed to,” said Chris Morabito, Owasco Fire Chief. “Then they called back to make sure everything was good and that they were all out and if there was anything else that they could do.”

During the Friday afternoon reunion, the Owasco Fire Department was awarded a total of $10,000 in grants by ADT and State Farm Insurance.

Chief Morabito says the department will use the money to buy an air compressor to fill oxygen tanks for firefighters.

Smith says if even one person learns from her experience and installs a smoke detector in their home, then “it’s worth it.”

Smith says half of her home that sits on the shore of the Owasco Lake was damaged by smoke.

However, she says the cost of any repairs will never match the worth of her family’s lives.