As Mechanicsville Fire chief Jake Koch reminded in interviews, there have been a rash of fires in the Midwest this winter already, averaging two to three a week.
A home in Mechanicsville was one of the most recent and happened during a blizzard.
As renter Carol Jilovec recounted, there had been no earlier indication for the couple their house was on fire. They’d smelled no smoke or ozone until they saw the glow of the upper floors on fire above them, and they were racing to get outdoors with gear for the winter.
Minutes later, there was nothing left but the chimney holding most of the remaining structure intact.
With that fire, crews were working with other factors, including brutal weather conditions to get to the rural house fire.
We’ve had reminders in the past on smoke detectors and fire safety – on having an escape plan from your home in case of an emergency.
With heaters going and more in electrical outlets this past holiday season, though, it doesn’t take much for a small spark to turn into a fire that engulfs a home.
A huge kudo as well to our first responder teams in handling emergency calls in the blizzard conditions that Friday evening, when most of us weren’t thinking of braving bad weather.
As both assistant fire chief Brett Epperly and Koch reminded – these crews know that working together is what is going to help in any event in their communities, and will call on mutual aid if they need it.
These crews train together and work together for instances just like the barn or house fire a few weeks ago, to aid each other when equipment is put to the wringer in many elements, they may not be able to control and work to keep us safe.
Let’s again do our part to give them every chance they can to save buildings and lives by checking smoke detector batteries now before there’s an emergency.