A family in La Vergne, TN, is alive today thanks to a generations old high school parenting assignment. Christian Deason, 17, who is a self proclaimed “heavy sleeper”, was awakened by the sound of a simulation doll that began to cry at 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 24, and quickly realized that the house was on fire.
Deason told the Daily News Journal that “she went to leave the room because she heard what she thought was a plate breaking. When she opened the door, the smoke hit her in the face.”The sound that she had heard was actually a window in the rear of the house shattering from the blaze.
The doll had been given to the student earlier in the week as part of an assignment to teach teenagers the reality of parenthood, and was scheduled to simulate life like functions at random times of the day and night. The baby was programmed to cry at exactly the right time for the Tennessee family. La Vergne Fire Marshal Victor Woods determined that the fire detectors in the house did not go off, even though they had recently been inspected, and that the family had less than a minute to get out of the house, according to MSNBC.
The fire began in the family’s laundry room, and quickly began to eat its way through the house. Once the crying baby woke the 17-year-old, she quickly alerted her mother, and mother’s boyfriend to get out of the house.
According to Deason, “it was a big white wall of smoke. I fanned it for a second, and I see flames. I ran straight to my mother’s room, got my dog out, put the toy baby in the carrier, and we were out.”Christian’s mother, Marina Deason, believes that “fate definitely had something to do with it. I think God works in mysterious ways.”
Fire investigators have been unable to determine the cause of the blaze at this point, but believe that it began with the family’s dryer. The failure of the smoke detector is possibly attributed to the fact that it is an “ion” detector, which is good for sensing open flames, but lacking when it comes to masses of smoke, according to investigators.