Smoke detectors credited for saving couple during Victory house fire.

August 8, 2019

Smoke detectors credited for saving couple during Victory house fire.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — A lightning strike was the cause of a fire inside the Mauer residence at 5154 N. LaSalle Road late Wednesday evening. Fountain Area Fire Department and Grant Township Fire Department were called to the residence at 11:16 p.m. and were on scene for several hours. Grant Fire Chief Ron Melchert is crediting smoke detectors and the quick reaction of the owners’ son, who lives nearby, as saving lives and the house.

“They were sleeping and their smoke detectors went off, which woke them up,” Melchert said. “They immediately called 911 and then called their son, who lives close by. He came over with a fire extinguisher and hit the main source of the fire. Those actions most likely saved their lives and their house.”

Melchert said a lightning strike came through the house’s electrical meter and into the electrical panel inside the house. “That was a major problem for us, trying to get to the fire. When we arrived there was smoke coming out of all the eaves, so it was a challenge to find the actual fire.”

Firefighters used infrared cameras to find hot spots in the house, which helped reduce structural damage, however, they had to tear into some walls, Melchert said. There was little exterior damage to the home and firefighters only used about 300 gallons of water, which is a low volume during a structure fire.

“This is what we call a good save,” Melchert said. “The house did have significant smoke damage inside, but very little fire damage. If it hadn’t been for the smoke detectors and the use of the fire extinguisher, the outcome could have been much different.”

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