Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fires in older homes prompt free detectors

By William Croyle
Enquirer contributor

HEBRON - Firefighters will knock on doors today in some of the older sections of town, handing out free smoke detectors.

The effort by the Hebron Fire Protection District comes after a fire Tuesday morning on Taylorsport Drive along the river consumed a home that did not have smoke detectors.

The owner of the home barely escaped, thanks to his barking dogs. It's the second time in two months that pets are credited with saving the lives of their owners. A fire on River Road destroyed a home in May, but the owner's cats made enough noise to wake him up.

"It's imperative that we get down there," said Mike Fronimos, public information officer for the Hebron Fire Department. "Having two fires down there in two months - we have to do something."

Some of the streets they'll visit are River Road, Bradford Avenue, Hart Drive and Ridge Avenue.

Many homes along the river were built in the early 20th century, some having survived the 1937 flood. New homes today must be built with hard-wire detectors, but detectors in older homes usually rely on batteries.

"People forget about them, or kids take the batteries out to put in their toys," said Fronimos.

The detectors from the fire department are free. They will also conduct free home-safety inspections by appointment.

The fire that destroyed the Taylorsport home Tuesday started about 3 a.m. Neighbors said the owner, Forrest Jones, was asleep when his dogs woke him up - just in time.

"He said it started in the room next to him," said neighbor, Tammy Henson. "He said he (and his dogs) barely got out the front door."

Firefighters determined an electrical problem started the blaze.

Jones called the fire department from Henson's home. Nearly 25 personnel from the Hebron, Point Pleasant and Burlington departments responded.

For more information on fire prevention and safety tips, visit


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