PEORIA, AZ — An 11-year-old girl helped save her family from a house fire late Monday night in Peoria after a Christmas tree went up in flames, according to fire officials.
The fire happened in the area of 91st and Northern avenues around 11:30 p.m.
Peoria fire officials say the girl and a seven-year-old were inside the home along with adult family members.
Firefighters say the girl ran through the home alerting the family after she realized the tree was on fire. Everyone was able to escape out the back of the house, including their three dogs.
The 11-year-old told ABC15 she was staying up late, while on break from school, and noticed the fire. "I was like, 'Why is this tv so bright? Then I saw it was, like, flames," said Liliana Woods. "Then I was like, 'Mom, get up!"
The child's mother did suffer a burn to her arm, but credits her daughter with helping save everyone inside.
"My daughter, she's like, 'Mom something is on fire in the front room," said Jeri Woods. "I looked and the tree, it was gone. I was trying to save the house."
The 11-year-old says she jumped into action when she noticed the flames. "I was panicking," Woods said. "Like, I need to save...I need everybody alive."
The Peoria Fire Department is still looking into exactly how the fire started, although they recommend getting rid of Christmas trees as soon as the holiday is over.
No one was seriously injured. Firefighters say the home was not a complete loss, but the family will be displaced because of the damage.
According to fire officials, a dried out Christmas tree can catch fire in less than 30 seconds.
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are dangerous. According to FEMA, on average, 1 of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death.
Experts recommend people get rid of Christmas trees immediately after the holidays.
Click here for a list of places where you can drop off your Christmas tree.