FIRE CHIEF WARNS OF DANGERS OF IMPROPERLY INSTALLED EQUIPMENT

by Christian Mower on January 14, 2012

THE CHIEF OF THE CENTER CONWAY FIRE DEPARTMENT IS CAUTIONING HOMEOWNERS TO CHECK TO ENSURE MAJOR APPLIANCES LIKE HEATERS AND STOVES ARE PROPERLY INSTALLED AFTER AN INCIDENT LATE LAST WEEK WHERE A HOUSE IN CENTER CONWAY NEARLY CAUGHT FIRE.

RAY LEAVITT CREDITS ONE OF HIS FIREFIGHTERS WHO WAS RETURNING FROM ANOTHER CALL THURSDAY AFTERNOON WHEN HE SAW SOMETHING ON THE SIDE OF A HOUSE ON MILL STREET THAT DIDN’T LOOK RIGHT, DETERMINED IT WAS A FIRE, NOTIFIED A PERSON WHO WAS ASLEEP INSIDE AND CALLED FOR FIREFIGHTERS TO RESPOND AT ABOUT 2 P.M.

LEAVITT SAYS THE OCCUPANTS WORKED NIGHTS SO THEY WERE TAKING A NAP DURING THE DAY AND WEREN’T AWARE THEY WERE BEGINNING TO HAVE AN ISSUE – AND SMOKE WAS BEGINNING TO INFILTRATE THE ROOMS IN THE HOME.

ON ARRIVAL LEAVITT SAYS THE FLAMES WERE JUST STARTING TO BREAK OUT OF THE RANCH STYLE HOUSE AND WERE MELTING THE VINYL SIDING. FIREFIGHTERS WERE ABLE TO INITIALLY KNOCK THE FIRE DOWN WITH AN EXTINGUISHER, FOLLOWED IT UP WITH A LITTLE BIT OF WATER, THEN DISASSEMBLED THE CHIMNEY AND THE STOVE AND PART OF THE WALL TO VERIFY THERE WASN’T AN EXTENSION.

LEAVITT SAYS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY IF THE FIRE HAD CONTINUED TO BURN FOR ANOTHER 20 MINUTES.

THE CHIEF SAYS THE FIRE WAS CAUSED BECAUSE THE STOVE PIPE WAS IMPROPERLY INSTALLED TOO CLOSE TO THE WALL.

LEAVITT SAYS HIS DEPARTMENT HAS RESPONDED TO MORE THAN ONE OF THESE TYPES OF INCIDENTS JUST IN THE PAST WEEK AND A HALF WHERE THE PROBLEM WAS AN IMPROPERLY INSTALLED DEVICE THAT COULD HAVE CAUSED THE HOMES TO BURN DOWN.

TO AVOID PROBLEMS AND PREVENT POSSIBLE SAFETY ISSUES, LEAVITT RECOMMENDS YOU CALL YOUR LOCAL CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR FIRE DEPARTMENT AND ASK THEM TO COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND CHECK YOUR INSTALLATION.

HE ALSO RECOMMENDS PEOPLE CHECK TO MAKE SURE BATTERIES ARE INSTALLED IN THEIR SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS – AND WORKING.