Chris Janson Recalls Escaping a Recent House Fire: “It Could Have Been Very Bad”

"I encourage people to check smoke alarms," says the "Good Vibes" vocalist

Following up his back-to-back 2019 country radio hits “Good Vibes” and “Done” by dealing with a near-tragic, “very bad” house fire certainly isn’t the way that country singer-songwriter Chris Janson expected to spend the tail end of his quarantine. However, the artist — who is also known as the pen behind hits for Tim McGraw, LOCASH, Hank Williams Jr., and more — did exactly that after the charger of his old laptop overheated while sitting upon an ottoman, causing a fire with “seven foot tall” flames, that destroyed the bottom floor of the Missouri native’s Tennessee home.

To PEOPLE, Janson noted, “Right now, I’m staring at the little laptop I have had for several years and the battery portion is burned up on it and is fused together with the charger. I am quite convinced that it literally just got overheated and one thing led to another.” The performer added, “I encourage people to check smoke alarms. It’s something we don’t think about, but in ours, all of the detectors were supposed to be hardwired in and they are, but for some reason they all didn’t go off at one time. Only the one in that one room was going off.”

Janson, his wife Kelly and their children were in the home, asleep, when the fire started during the night. The faint beeping from that one smoke detector woke up Janson’s wife. While she took their children to a safe location, Janson tried to douse the flames with buckets of water until firefighters arrived.

The object upon which Janson’s laptop was sitting emerged unscathed. Upon closer review, it’s nothing short of a divine miracle. “Our Jesus Calling devotional book [wasn’t destroyed],” Janson notes. “The one that had been sitting on the ottoman was a spare copy since we keep the original copy by our bed. But it was one of the only things on the ottoman not completely burned up. I’ve said it multiple times, but God has our back.”