SCOTTSDALE, AZ - A Scottsdale family managed to get out safely from their multi-million dollar mansion after fire broke out early Sunday morning.
Homeowner Brian Winski tells ABC15 News he awoke around 2:30 a.m. to the blaring sound of a smoke detector going off right outside his bedroom door.
"When I sat up in bed, it was instant," Winski said of the smoke spreading throughout his house. "You could see it, smell it, taste it. I shook my wife and said 'fire!'"
With the think, black smoke filling the air, Winski crawled to his kids' bedrooms.
He yelled at them to get up and get out.
"They were sound asleep, they didn't hear the alarms," said Winski. "It's amazing, when you're 18 you can sleep really deeply."
His son and daughter jumped out their bedroom windows and once outside called 911.
Winski, meantime, tried to locate the fire but could only make it as far as the living room.
"I got hit with a wall of smoke," said Winski. "As you're waking up you're thinking 'oh my God, this is really happening. You have a fire.'"
Over the years, Winski and his family practiced the plan they would implement if fire were to ever break out.
They all met at a pre-arranged spot outside the house just as they planned.
"It paid off," said Winski. "We all knew where we were supposed to be. My dad drilled EDITH into me, exit drill in the home. We drilled it into our kids' heads."
The Winskis all watched as firefighters worked to douse the flames.
The fire ended up doing more than a million dollars worth of damage.
"It's 21 years of memories, but it's all replaceable," said Winski.
More importantly, Brian and his family escaped serious injury all thanks to having some working smoke detectors and a plan.
"The good news is the four of us got out alive," said Winski. "We kept our three dogs. We'll rebuild. That's all we can do."
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation but Winski says investigators appeared to focus in his laundry room and the possibility an electrical cord started the fire.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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