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Father helps daughter escape burning apartment

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A father used a ladder to rescue his daughter from her burning apartment. The apartment, which sits atop a garage along Sholey Road in eastern Henrico, only had one traditional exit, according to Henrico Fire Capt. Jim Mellon.

Mellon said when the woman in the apartment smelled smoke and tried to get out, she realized the fire was in the garage below and the stairwell was filled with smoke.

Instead of opening the door, Mellon said, the woman picked up the phone and called her father for help. Her father lives in the home next to the garage.

"He quickly grabbed a ladder and placed it to the window where his daughter climbed down to safety," Mellon wrote in an email. "The apartment did have a smoke detector that did not activate due to a dead battery."

Mellon said a space heater plugged up to an overheated extension cord in the garage started the fire.

"It is never recommended to run a space heater off of an extension cord," Mellon wrote. "Space heaters draw large amperage which causes extension cords to overheat. We would also like to remind everyone to check your smoke detector."

It took fire crews about 20 minutes to bring the fire under control. Crews were called to the home around 1:00 a.m. Monday.