BRUNSWICK, Maine — A family of three is safe Monday morning following an early morning fire in their rented house on Merryman Lane.

Boyd Allen and his wife, Sierra, stayed up late Sunday night to watch a football game, but when Boyd went to bed he smelled smoke.

He checked the bedroom of his 2-year-old son, John, and found smoke layered above the crib, Allen said. He grabbed the toddler, and the three scrambled outdoors just as the smoke detectors began to ring.

“They are lucky, lucky people,” Deputy Chief Jeff Emerson of the Brunswick Fire Department said at the scene.

The first crew at the scene nearly 200-year-old home found a woodstove with a brick chimney covered with wood,”and through the crack in the wood, they could see the glow” of the fire, Brunswick fire Chief Ken Brillant said.

“The first units in worked fast,” Emerson said. “They saved this place. With this type of construction — an old house with void spaces — these guys did a great job.”

The family has only rented the home for seven or eight months, Allen said, but has been trying to purchase it from the owners, a company that operates adult day care centers.

As Allen and his wife spoke to fire investigators early Monday, their son played next door with Bernie Coombs’ two daughters. Emerson said investigators are focusing on the chimney as the likely cause.

Unlike many fires at which firefighters show up too late to save all but the occupants, crews who responded to Monday’s blaze were able to get inside, remove some Christmas presents and other items, and then begin opening up walls.