Smart move: False alarm teaches a valuable lesson

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Houghton firefighters responded to a fire alarm on West South Street in Houghton, and assess the situation before leaving the scene

HOUGHTON — The Houghton Fire Department responded to an alarm on West South Street at approximately 9:45 a.m. Friday, arriving on the scene to see the family gathered together outside — and no fire.

Firefighter Buck Foltz said the family did exactly what they were supposed to do. A faulty smoke detector went off, he said. Rather than waste time trying to figure out why, a family member instead called the fire department, gathered other family, including small children, and evacuated the home and waited for the department to arrive.

Upon arriving on the scene, Foltz said firefighting personnel were able to question the family as to what they might be about to face.

“We sent some people into the home to make sure everything was safe,” Foltz said. “They did everything exactly the way it is supposed to be done. The alarm sounded, they called us and got everybody out of the house. They did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Foltz said the incident is a prime example of what people should do, why people should have detectors, and why they should keep them in good, working order.

“It’s important to check a detector’s batteries twice a year,” said Foltz. “Check them in the spring and in the fall, when you change your clocks for the time changes.”

Fire Chief Mike Reynolds said this was a story with a happy ending, and agreed with Foltz, saying the family obviously had training in how to handle such a situation.

“We teach and emphasize fire safety,” said Reynolds. “We go around to the schools, and places, and teach fire safety, and these people did everything the way we instruct classrooms. They got out of the house, they were a safe distance away, gathered in one spot so each person knew everyone was accounted for.”