TFRD finds no working smoke alarms on the scene of a Toledo house fire

A woman and a firefighter were hospitalized
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 9:22 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department is investigating the cause of a housefire that left one person hospitalized with life threatening injuries and one fire fighter sustaining minor burns Monday night.

According to TFRD, crews responded to a call of a kitchen fire in the 4900 block of Ventura Drive. Upon arrival, fire crews found a person trapped on the second floor of the home.

The victim was rescued and transported by a life squad to a hospital. TFRD Chief Armstrong told 13abc that the victim is suffering life-threatening injuries. Her condition remained the same on Tuesday. In addition, a firefighter was injured and suffered minor burns.

According to TFRD, crews did not hear or see any smoke detectors on the property. This has led to a renewed call that a working smoke detector can be the difference between life or death.

“Fire moves and can double in size within seconds depending on the fuel that it’s burning, what’s in the home, and the conditions in the home. We’re not talking minutes and hours of burn time; we’re talking seconds. You can get out of the house or you can be overcome by the smoke or by fire,” said TFRD Pvt. Sterling Rahe.

Fire officials recommend testing it once a month by pressing down it’s test button for at least three seconds to hear if it works.

If you don’t hear any sound, it means the batteries need to be replaced.

“We’re kind of in between where we still have some older smoke detectors that have batteries that need to be replaced, we also have the newer style that the battery are sealed within the unit and they are rated for the life of the smoke detector, which is typically 10 years,” said Pvt. Rahe.

Fire officials recommend using daylight saving time as a reminder to change out your batteries.

“Time change is a great time to do that. We remind our citizens to check the batteries when the clocks spring forward and fall back, so they can check twice a year,” said Bowling Green Fire Division Lt. Brandon Westerman.

Many local fire departments offer free smoke alarms to their residents, including Toledo and Bowling Green. All you have to do is go to your local area fire department and fill out a form.

“Not everybody has access to be able to go out and get these or the ability to buy them and we recognize that. So basically the program is designed around homeowners or people buying their home, landlords are required by law to supply smoke detectors to their tenants,” said Pvt. Rahe.

In addition to having a working smoke alarm, firefighters recommend making a plan with your family ahead of time, know two exits out of your building, and close your door when you are asleep to prevent smoke from entering the room.

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