If Jeanette Thorpe hadn't been standing outside her house Wednesday evening waiting for fire crews to put out a blaze in her basement, firefighters might not have been able to find her home, said county fire spokesman Lt. Dennis Steadman.

A fire started in Thorpe's basement at about 7:15 p.m. when cardboard boxes of books and loose clothing ignited after extension cords running on them short-circuited. Firefighters had the fire under control 10 minutes after they arrived, and structure and content damage were held to $2,500, Steadman said. But it could have been worse, he said.

Thorpe's house at 620 E. 7200 South is next door to 574 E. 7200 South. But the next street east is numbered 580 East - an out-of-sequence numbering that could have confused responding firefighters.

One reason the fire crew found Thorpe's house was she was standing out front, Steadman said. "When people have an unusual address, if they have a medical, fire or police emergency, if possible they should be standing out front to flag down emergency crews."