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Letter to the Editor: Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One’s Prevention Specialist Nanette Tatom writes about how smoke alarms saved one Gig Harbor family.

We hear that line over and over, but until you actually experience a fire you may not realize how true that statement really is.

On Friday, September 7th firefighters responded to the report of a mobile home fire at 6402 154th Street NW. Upon arrival they found light smoke coming from the structure and its 3 occupants safely outside.

The home owner, Jodi Marks-Cook told Lt. Mark Metsker the family was alerted to the fire when the smoke alarms sounded. Those same smoke alarms were installed last October by Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One personnel and made available to the fire department as part of the Fire Safe Families Grant provided by the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fire started when a fan plugged in to an extension cord, not a surge protector, overheated, catching the fan and her son’s bed on fire. Since the smoke alarms alerted the family while the fire was still small, they were able to safely use a fire extinguisher and then pull a hose line from outside in to the bedroom to suppress the fire and keep it from extending beyond her son’s bedroom, after calling 911.

Firefighters finished extinguishing the smoldering bed and removed the damaged contents from the home. Fortunately, Jodi has insurance and her insurance company has hired a team to clean and repair the damages. Jodi and her family have been able to stay living in their home. A happy ending to what could have been a tragic event.

If you would like more information on smoke alarms or if you would like someone from Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One to install a smoke alarm in your home, please call the Prevention Division at 253-851-5111. 

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