ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – St. George Fire officials say around 9:30 on Sunday night, they responded to a joint apartment building on Donlee Drive.

“There was smoke and flames coming out of the chimney area and out of the attic of the home and we were able to go in, pull some ceilings, and isolate it into the living room area and the fire place area,” says Battalion Chief, Brad Esplin.

The owners of the townhome say they frequently use their fireplace and it’s possible some embers re-ignited once they went to bed.

“They recently changed the batteries in their smoke detectors and twice a year, that’s what we recommend everyone to do, and they had recently done that in the past couple of weeks, so they had good functioning alarms,” says Esplin.

Esplin says those residents fortunately woke up to a working smoke detector and left right away. Esplin says when living on multi-unit property it’s important to have a refuge.

“Every apartment building has multiple ways out, so make sure before an incident happens, that you have a good plan on how you will evacuate from the building,” says Esplin.

Esplin says people should also ensure a chimney is properly extinguished before going to bed and to keep good maintenance on a fireplace, to prevent an incident.