Smoke Alarm Alerts Park Avenue Family to Fire
Working fire alarms alerted a Maplewood family to a fire in a second-floor closet on Friday night.
Last night, Maplewood firefighters extinguished a second-floor fire in a Park Avenue home after quick action by the homeowner.
Maplewood Fire Department Platoon 2 Deputy Chief Walter Nugent and Capt. Kevin Hayes said they were monitoring the police frequency at 7:00 p.m. when they heard the dispatch of a 911 call reporting a fire in a closet.
Maplewood Fire Department units responded within four minutes, confirming a fire in a bedroom closet on the second floor and quickly stretching an attack line and extinguishing the fire.
South Orange and Irvington fire departments responded as a precautionary measure and were released after a brief stay at the scene.
Capt. Joe Callaghan of the Maplewood Fire Department said that the Park Avenue incident is a textbook lesson on how to respond to a fire in your home.
Said Callaghan, "Lessons learned for homeowners: The homeowner was downstairs with her children when she heard her second-floor smoke detector sounding. She went to investigate and found smoke on the second floor and found fire in her closet. She closed the closet door, went downstairs and evacuated her children, called 911 and waited on the front lawn for the arrival of MFD units.They fire was extinguished."
Callaghan said these are the takeaways for other homeowners:
1. Smoke detectors were properly placed and functioning.
2. With the absence of smoke on the first floor, the homeowner investigated the reason for the alarm and found the cause.
3. The homeowner was able to close the door to her closet.
4. The homeowner evacuated her children.
5. The homeowner dialed 911 and gave clear, concise information.
6. The homeowner remained near the front of her house and relayed great information to the arriving deputy chief.
"Without these actions, the response time would have been increased, allowing spread of the fire. It would have entered her bedroom and possibly spread through the ceiling and even involved the attic. That would have caused extensive damage to the home."
Callaghan reminds residents that they can always call the Maplewood Fire Department for advice on smoke detector placement. The Maplewood Fire Department can visit your home, point out any potential fire hazards and provide you with useful information on an evacuation plan or E.D.I.T.H. -- Exit Drills In The Home.