MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) - A woman and her pets were killed in a fire early Thursday morning.
Virginia Nelson, 69, her dog and her cat were all dead before firefighters could even get to the home in the 1200 block of Case Avenue.
"She was a very good person and we loved her a lot," one family member told 2 NEWS.
Neighbors say Nelson was quiet but never afraid to share a smile.
"My son would go over and pet the dog and she wouldn't care," says Chassity Tomlinson. "She was really friendly."
Investigators are still looking into what started the blaze, which crews say basically put itself out, but how they found out about it tells the story of this fire.
It was when a neighbor smelled smoke and called for help.
It wasn't when a smoke detector sounded the alarm.
Fire officials say the apartment didn't have one, as was the case in three other recent fire deaths in the area.
"Smoke detectors are so cheap and so inexpensive and they're so easy to put up," says Lt. Dale Fahrney with the Miami Valley Fire District.
2 NEWS looked and found in Ohio smoke detectors are not required in apartments, like the one in this case, that are less than 75 feet tall.
But fire officials say that shouldn't stop you from making sure you get one.
"If you live in an apartment building and you don't have a smoke detector you should contact your landlord and request one," Fahrney says.
One neighbor told 2 NEWS after what happened they planned to put new batteries in their smoke detector, while another says they check theirs every two weeks because they have kids.
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