Smoke detectors alert occupants to kitchen fire

Photo courtesy Jasper Volunteer Fire Department


JASPER — Smoke detectors are being credited with waking a sleeping couple just after midnight today and alerting them to a kitchen fire in their south-side apartment.

Units of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department were called to the Fountainview Apartments, 805 Conrad Ave., at 12:23 a.m., according to Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang.

The call came after a resident in one of the 12 units awoke to the sound of a smoke detector activating, according to the chief.

“The resident and his female companion were able to safely exit the building,” Hochgesang said.

Jasper Police Department officers arrived and successfully evacuated the residents in the other units, the chief added.

There were no injuries.

Fire began when the apartment’s occupants, who were using their stove, fell asleep, according to the fire chief.

“Good thing the smoke detector woke them up,” Hochgesang said. “They were able to identify the problem right away. If not, it could have been a much worse outcome.”

The first-arriving firefighters unsuccessfully tried knocking down flames with fire extinguishers, Hochgesang said.

“It was going pretty good,” the chief said.

Fire damage to the kitchen and water damage in the unit was estimated at $30,000.

The couple residing in the unit will be temporarily displaced while the fire damage is repaired. Hochgesang said the couple stayed with neighbors overnight.

There was also water damage to an apartment beside the stove-fire unit, as well as water damage to the apartment below it. Hochgesang said the occupants of those two affected units were not displaced.

“They just have water damage to their kitchen and living room areas so they were able to stay there,” Hochgesang said. “Repairs are being made this morning.”

Six trucks and 27 firefighters were on the scene 80 minutes.

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