Fire Sparks Reminder to Check Smoke Detectors

A house fire in the City of Fond du Lac over the weekend is being blamed on the careless use of smoking materials – but firefighters also found there were no working smoke detectors in the home. 

While someone noticed the fire and got the residents out, Assistant Chief Erick Gerritson says there isn’t always someone awake at 2:15am. He reminds people “the best way for early detection of a fire inside a house or any building for that matter is a smoke detector. If you do not have properly working smoke detectors installed in your house, you’re taking a chance. And it’s an unnecessary chance. Smoke detectors are on watch 24/7.”

Gerritson adds that “they actually had a smoke detector in this house that we were at this weekend, but the battery was out. Either the battery will chirp because it’s low battery and it gets annoying and people pull it out. Sometimes they have it too close to their kitchen and you get some off-gassing of whatever you’re cooking and that smoke detector goes off and gets annoying so they pull the battery out and forget to put it back in.”

He points out that sometimes newer technology can help, and “the new ones have this battery that won’t even fit into anything else. It’s a special battery – it gets locked inside of the smoke detector – and then you don’t have that problem of it. The only problem you might have is a false reading if you have it too close to your kitchen stove.”

The heaviest damage was contained to a second-story bedroom, but the home is currently unlivable. All residents were able to evacuate safely – but two people were treated on scene for smoke inhalation.