Durham, N.C. — A fire killed two people identified by neighbors as a mother and son in a Durham house Saturday night.
Flames and heavy smoke poured form the house at 120 Davidson Ave. as firefighters rushed to the scene around 9:30 p.m.
"All of sudden this happened, just out of nowhere," neighbor Mozella Bass said. "We came outside. We were watching the fire, then next I knew, they were bringing bodies out."
Authorities have not released their identities.
"It's Christmas. It's sad," neighbor Eva Jones said.
Interim Fire Chief Daniel Curia said the fire was accidental and likely caused by a space heater in a rear bedroom. There was no working smoke detector in the home.
"Those very certainly could've alerted them to the presence of the fire and gotten them out ahead of time," Battalion Chief Andy Sannipol said.
Jones, who lives next door, wishes she had heard an alarm.
"If the fire detectors had been in working order, we would've been able to call the police," she said.
Firefighters recommend having a working smoke detector on every floor of a home, outside every sleeping area and inside every bedroom. Batteries should be replaced once every year.
Space heaters should be at least three feet from clothing or other flammable material. They should be plugged directly into the wall, not an extension cord. Newer space heaters automatically shut off if they fall over, but older models do not.
"Make sure you get an alarm, and make sure it's working," Bass urged.
"Please do it for yourself," Jones said.